Isotopic fractionation of carbon and chlorine by microbial degradation of dichloromethane

L. J. Heraty*, M. E. Fuller, L. Huang, T. Abrajano, N. C. Sturchio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Microbial culture experiments were performed at 22°C to investigate isotopic fractionation of carbon (C) and chlorine (Cl) during aerobic degradation of dichloromethane (DCM) by MC8b, a gram-negative methylotrophic organism closely related to the genera Methylobacterium or Ochrobactrum. Values of the isotopic fractionation factor, α, were estimated from the experimental results. These values are 0.9576 ± 0 0015 for C and 0.9962 ± 0.0003 for Cl, corresponding to kinetic isotope effects (KIE) of 1,0424 for C and 1 0038 for Cl. The C isotope effect accompanying aerobic degradation of DCM by MC8b is roughly twice that resulting from microbial oxidation of CH4. Further studies of this type, for a variety of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) under a range of biogeochemical conditions, may find important applications in the characterization and remediation of sites contaminated with CAHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-799
Number of pages7
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Issue number8 A
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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