In-Situ Bioremediation with Slow Release Co-metabolism Substrates

Background of Invention

A variety of highly toxic contaminants of concern persist in soils and groundwater at industrial sites across the country. Treatment, if even feasible, is often very expensive and time consuming. In-situ bioremediation of multiple contaminants with slow release cometabolism allows is attractive, but faces challenges of substrate limitations, slow kinetics, and the prolonged viability of the microorganisms carrying out the remediation. There is a need for technologies that can better sustain the bioremediation process by localizing and retaining the microorganisms in the subsurface and providing sustained substrate release over an extended period of time. This technology provides such a solution.

Technology Description

This technology utilizes the ability of microbial cells and slow release compounds (SRC) within an encapsulation device to degrade and treat groundwater contaminants of concern. A variety of microorganisms can be used in combination with a variety of slow release substrates to target a spectrum of difficult to degrade contaminants, including poly-cyclic compounds and highly toxic halogenated compounds. By using encapsulation, the microorganisms and cometabolic substrates stay co-located, in situ, over an extended period of time.

Degradation of vinyl chloride and 1,1 – dichloroethylene over an extended period of time using this technology (light blue dotted lines are abiotic controls).


  • In situ treatment
  • Extended treatment time
  • Treatment of difficult contaminants
  • Less expensive than alternatives


  • Contaminated groundwater and soil
  • Domestic or industrial wastewater
  • Point source treatment in packed beds


Oregon State University is seeking development partners.


IP Status

  • Patent application submitted


  • Licensing
  • Commercial Partner
  • Development Partner
Patent Information:
Tech ID:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
Mitchell Rasmussen
Lewis Semprini
Michael Hyman
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