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Degradation of methyl bromide in anaerobic sediments

Environmental Science and Technology

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Abstract

Methyl bromide (MeBr) was anaerobically degraded in saltmarsh sediments after reaction with sulfide. The product of this nucleophilic substitution reaction was methanethiol, which underwent further chemical and bacterial reactions to form dimethyl sulfide. These two gases appeared transiently during sediment incubations because they were metabolized by methanogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria. A second, less significant reaction of MeBr was the exchange with chloride, forming methyl chloride, which was also susceptible to attack by sulfide. Incubation of 14C-labeled methyl iodide as an analogue of MeBr resulted in the formation of 14CH4 and 14CO2 and also indicated that sulfate-reducing bacteria as well as methanogens metabolized the methylated sulfur intermediates. These results suggest that exposed sediments with abundant free sulfide, such as coastal salt-marshes, may constitute a sink for atmospheric MeBr.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Degradation of methyl bromide in anaerobic sediments
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
Volume
28
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
514
Last page:
520
Number of Pages:
7