NUS Enterprise

Biological Remediation of Chlorinated Organic Pollutants

Technology #2017-113

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He Jianzhong
Managed By
Ms Yong Yoke Ping (
Manager (65)66011680
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2017-113_Tech_Offer.pdf [PDF]

Market Opportunity

Chlorinated hydrocarbons are a class of toxic chemicals found frequently in the industrial wastewater, soils and groundwater. Non-invasive bioremediation approaches are rapidly becoming the method of choice over conventional physical and/or chemical remediation processes. In sites contaminated by chlorinated organic pollutants, such as chlorinated ethenes, reductive de-chlorination by bacterial isolates in-situ is often unstable and highly susceptible to inhibitory effects from co-contaminating non-substrate halogenated compounds. Use of undefined mixed cultures to cope with indigenous microbial communities rarely works efficiently.


This technology relates to a defined microbial consortium capable of (i) complete dehalogenation of polychlorinated ethenes (PCE and TCE) to non-toxic ethene as well as (ii) dehalogenating the common soil and groundwater co-contaminants 1,1,1-trichloroethane and chloroform.

The microbial consortium can make use of lactate or pyruvate as sources of carbon for growth, be established in microaerobic, anaerobic or anoxic environments and can be established without specific amendment of electron donors (e.g. hydrogen). It can utilize a broad range of chlorinated hydrocarbons for metabolic dehalogenation, including: tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, dichlorethene isomers, vinylchloride, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethene and chloroform. The microbial consortium can be cultured in the presence of one or more halogenated compound to a maximum nominal concentration of 500µM.

Figure 1: Dechlorination of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and tetrachlorethene (PCE) by the defined consortium of this technology. Data points are averaged from triplicates.

Stage of Development

TRL 4. Component validation in laboratory environment


·  Biological remediation of chlorinated organic pollutants.


1.  Able to detoxify multiple chlorinated compounds without inhibition to the microbes.

2.  Able to utilize a variety of carbon sources, electron donors and electron acceptors

3.  Knowledge of all microbial population limits the environmental risks presented by augmentation with undefined cultures.


Available for licensing.