Graduate Research Associate
Arizona State University
Aide Robles is a 4th year PhD student in environmental engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. She has a Master's in environmental engineering from ASU, a Bachelor's of Science in civil engineering, and a Bachelor's of Arts in modern languages from Northern Arizona University. Aide is an active student member in the Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics where she performs user-inspired research on bioremediation of chlorinated contaminants aimed at developing technologies that will support industry and government entities in their efforts to remediate toxic contaminants from the subsurface.
The effects of substrate type, ratio, and end-products on reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes
Chain elongation is a key metabolic process used in the conversion of organic-rich waste streams to biochemicals and biofuels. Chain elongators convert simple substrates, such as acetate and ethanol, into larger more valuable carboxylates, such as butyrate (C4), and caproate (C6), while reliably producing H2. In soil batch experiments, we previously achieved sustained complete reductive dechlorination of approximately 2 mmol L−1 trichloroethene by mixed cultures of reductive dechlorinators (contained Dehalococcoides mccartyi) and chain elongators (contained Clostridium kluyveri) via chain elongation of 50 mM acetate and 50 mM ethanol. Microcosms accumulated up to 6 mmol L−1 H2, while limiting methanogenesis. In an on-going bench-scale experiment, we are investigating the effects of chain elongation substrate types, substrate ratios, and end-products in batch experiments for the implementation at a Superfund site primarily contaminated with cis-1,2-dichloroethene.