Enhanced and innovative in-situ Biotechnologies for Contaminated Land Remediation (EiCLaR)

Experimental Setup to determine the electrokinetic mobilisation of aerobic chloroethene degraders

Column setup to enrich aerobic chloroethene degrading organism on sand

EiCLaR, a EU/China consortium, will develop scientific and technical innovations for in-situ bioremediation-processes. During the project, TZW will be looking into combined bio-electrical remediation approaches for the treatment of chloroethene contaminated groundwater. Based on electrokinetical and electrochemical effects new processes for bioaugmentation will be developed.

Groundwater-quality worldwide is negatively affected by pollution with hazadouscontaminants. One of the most often found groups of contaminants are volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons which found use as solvents. Regarding the importance of groundwater as source for potable water, resource-protection as well as the remediation of contaminated groundwater are essential.    
EiCLaR, a EU/China consortium with 13 European and five Chinese partners, will develop scientific and technical innovations for in-situ bioremediation technologies. The advances will be directly developed into processes for fast, efficient and cost-effective treatment of a broad variety of environmental pollutants like chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, tar oil residues, etc.
The technologies explored (Electro-Nano-Bioremediation, Monitored Bioaugmentation, Bioelectrochemical Remediation, Enhanced Phytoremediation) will open up a range of applications to treat industrial sites and waters contaminated by complex pollution mixtures.

Through laboratory studies  the scientific base will be explored. Afterwards, scale-up of the processes into field-applications will be developed.

At TZW, the focus of research will be on bioaugmentation as well as bio-electrical remediation approaches of chlorinated hydrocarbons. The potential for bioaugmentation of an aerobic, metabolic TCE-degrading culture was shown at TZW in recent studies. These studies will be expanded and bioaugmentation in combination with electrical approaches will be developed. Through an  electrical field electrokinetic effects, like electrophoresis and electroosmosis, can be used to enhance contaminant as well as bacteria migration, and therefore  improve the degradation of the contaminants. Furthermore the electrochemical supplementation of electron donors and acceptors, in form of hydrogen and oxygen, in a sequential anaerobic/aerobic system will be studied. The supplied amount of hydrogen and oxygen will be adjusted by the electrical current. By using aerobic, metabolic TCE-degraders for bioaugmentation, there is no need to supply auxiliary substrates to enable the biodegradation. Therefore, the oxygen demand of the treatment process will be significantly lower as compared to conventional co-metabolic processes.  Furthermore, in aerobic metabolic chloroethene degradation there is no risk of formation of hazardous metabolites.


Lohner, Svenja T.; Tiehm, Andreas (2009): Application of electrolysis to stimulate microbial reductive PCE dechlorination and oxidative VC biodegradation. In: Environmental science & technology 43 (18), S. 7098–7104. DOI: 10.1021/es900835d.

Lohner, Svenja T.; Becker, Dirk; Mangold, Klaus-Michael; Tiehm, Andreas (2011): Sequential reductive and oxidative biodegradation of chloroethenes stimulated in a coupled bioelectro-process. In: Environmental science & technology 45 (15), S. 6491–6497. DOI: 10.1021/es200801r.

Gaza, Sarah; Schmidt, Kathrin R.; Weigold, Pascal; Heidinger, Michael; Tiehm, Andreas (2019): Aerobic metabolic trichloroethene biodegradation under field-relevant conditions. In: Water Research, S. 343–348. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.12.022.

Schmidt K.R., Tiehm A. (2011): Natural Attenuation am Chlorethen-Standort Frankenthal: Bedeutung des sequentiell anaerob-aeroben Bio-Abbaus. Altlastenspektrum 05.11: 212-219