Investigation of a Novel Biomolecule Active in Degradation of Common Groundwater Contaminants

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigator: Paige Novak, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota

Funding: 

USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration: 

March 1999 - February 2000

Summary: 

Elemental iron (Fe0) has recently been investigated as an alternative in situ support of anaerobic organisms capable of dehalogenation. During the incubation of the methanogen M. thermophila with Fe0, it was discovered that the organism excreted a biomolecule capable of the rapid transformation of many common groundwater contaminants. Paige Novak was awarded a grant to study the excreted catalyst produced by M. thermophila in order to explore its use in bioremediation.