Envirogen Inc. announced that it has completed the first phaseof its field trials to biodegrade trichloroethylene (TCE).

The Lawrenceville, N.J., environmental biotech company(NASDAQ:ENVG) is testing the ability of its biocatalyst-reactorsystem, which contains a pure culture of TCE-degradingmicrobes to degrade TCE-contaminated air streams.

The bioreactor was installed as a slip-stream biotreatmentsystem on an existing air stripper treating TCE-contaminatedground water. It may provide a lower-cost alternative tocarbon adsorption or thermal methodologies.

"We have been able to consistently achieve degradation ratesgreater than 90 percent in both the laboratory and now thefield," said Ronald Unterman, Envirogen's vice president ofresearch and development.

"Now that we have completed this successful Phase I field trialof our biochemistry and reactor conditions," said Burt Ensley,Envirogen's director of advanced technology, "our focus isdirected toward achieving higher system flow rates." --Jennifer Van Brunt

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