Substantial degradation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures is carried out using the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, under nutrient, carbon and nitrogen source rich, non-ligninolytic conditions. The PCBs with various numbers of ortho, meta, and para chlorines were extensively degraded, indicating relative nonspecificity for the position of chlorine substitutions on the biphenyl ring. Maximal degradation of PCBs in a mixture was observed in malt extract medium (18.4% on a molar basis), in which most of the individual PCBs were degraded.
This invention was developed under National Science Foundation Grant B1R 91-2006 and U.S. Department of Energy Grant DE-FG02-85ER 13369. The U.S. Government has certain rights to this invention.