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Huang, S. and P.R. Jaffe.
Environmental Science & Technology 53(19):11410-11419(2019)

Incubations with pure and enrichment cultures of Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 were used to biodegrade/defluorinate 0.1 mg/L and 100 mg/L PFOA or PFOS, using NH4+ or H2 as electron donors under iron-reducing conditions. An increase of fluoride, shorter-chain perfluorinated products, and acetate was observed, as well as a decrease in Fe(III). Incubations with H2 resulted in the removal of ≤ 60% of PFOA and PFOS during 100-day incubations, while total fluorine remained constant throughout the incubations. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was tracked to determine if PFOA/PFOS or some of their degradation products were metabolized. At 100 mg/L, PFOA/PFOS were the main contributors to DOC, which remained constant during the pure A6 culture incubations. In the A6 enrichment culture, DOC decreased slightly with time, indicating that as defluorination of PFOS/PFOA occurred, some of the products were being metabolized by heterotrophs present in the culture. Results show that A6 can defluorinate PFOA/PFOS while reducing iron, using NH4+ or H2 as the electron donor.

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