March 4, 2019

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Staci Capozzi Coauthored a Paper on Dehalorespiring Biofilms on Carbonaceous Sorptive Amendments for Biofouling Journal

Staci Capozzi, Ph.D. (Maryland) coauthored a paper entitled "Colonization and growth of dehalorespiring
biofilms on carbonaceous sorptive amendments" that was published in Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research in Volume 34, Number 8 on February 21, 2019.

Staci was the lead author, and her coauthors were Coline Bodenreider, Ana Prieto, Rayford B. Payne, Kevin R. Sowers and Birthe Veno Kjellerup.     

Staci is a Senior Staff Scientist based in Maryland focused on data mining, source apportionment, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bioremediation of PCBs and halogenated solvents in subsurface systems. As part of her graduate work, she demonstrated the use of mass spectrometry to evaluate the dehalogenation of various organic contaminants in sewer systems. She has applied her skills to apportion PCBs found in wastewater in Washington, D.C. to various potential sources and recently presented a portion of her research results at an international PCB conference in Poland.

Biofouling is an international, peer-reviewed, multi-discliplinary journal which publishes original articles and mini-reviews and provides a forum for publication of pure and applied work on protein, microbial, fungal, plant and animal fouling and its control, as well as studies of all kinds on biofilms and bioadhesion.


Removal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from contaminated sediments is a priority due to accumulation in the food chain. Recent success with reduction of PCB bioavailability due to adsorption onto activated carbon led to the recognition of in situ treatment as a remediation approach. In this study, reduced bioavailability and subsequent break-down of PCBs in dehalorespiring biofilms was investigated using Dehalobium chlorocoercia DF1. DF1 formed a patchy biofilm ranging in thickness from 3.9 to 6.7 µm (average 4.6 ± 0.87 µm), while the biofilm coverage varied from 5.5% (sand) to 20.2% (activated carbon), indicating a preference for sorptive materials. Quantification of DF1 biofilm bacteria showed 1.2–15.3 × 109 bacteria per gram of material. After 22 days, coal activated carbon, bone biochar, polyoxymethylene, and sand microcosms had dechlorinated 73%, 93%, 100%, and 83%, respectively. These results show that a biofilm-based inoculum for bioaugmentation of PCBs in sediment can be an efficient approach.

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