Degradation of BTEX by anaerobic bacteria: physiology and application

S.A.B. Weelink, M.H.A. van Eekert, A.J.M. Stams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Pollution of the environment with aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (so-called BTEX) is often observed. The cleanup of these toxic compounds has gained much attention in the last decades. In situ bioremediation of aromatic hydrocarbons contaminated soils and groundwater by naturally occurring microorganisms or microorganisms that are introduced is possible. Anaerobic bioremediation is an attractive technology as these compounds are often present in the anoxic zones of the environment. The bottleneck in the application of anaerobic techniques is the lack of knowledge about the anaerobic biodegradation of benzene and the bacteria involved in anaerobic benzene degradation. Here, we review the existing knowledge on the degradation of benzene and other aromatic hydrocarbons by anaerobic bacteria, in particular the physiology and application, including results on the (per)chlorate stimulated degradation of these compounds, which is an interesting new alternative option for bioremediation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-385
JournalReviews in Environmental Science & Bio-technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • reducing enrichment culture
  • petroleum-contaminated aquifer
  • hydrogen isotope fractionation
  • dechloromonas strain rcb
  • denitrifying bacterium
  • benzene degradation
  • aromatic-compounds
  • benzylsuccinate synthase
  • thauera-aromatica
  • sp-nov.


Dive into the research topics of 'Degradation of BTEX by anaerobic bacteria: physiology and application'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this