Ex parte KEASLING et al. - Page 6

            Appeal No. 1997-2755                                                                              
            Application 08/311,426                                                                            

            groundwater examined.  The method taught by Fathepure involves the complete                       
            degradation of polychlorinated hydrocarbons by a two-stage biofilm reactor.  In this              
            reactor, organic halides such as hexachlorobenzene (HCB), tetrachloroethylene (PCE),              
            and chloroform (CF) are first reductively dechlorinated in an anaerobic portion using a           
            carbon source such as glucose.  These organic halides, however, are only dechlorinated to         
            the levels of tri- and dichlorinated products in the anaerobic portion of the reactor.  See       
            Table I on page 3420 of Fathepure.  Complete dechlorination of these organic halides only         
            occurs in the second aerobic stage of the reactor where an oxygen source is added.                
            Therefore, Fathepure fails to teach of the complete reductive dehalogenation of the               
            organic halides.  Rather, the method of Fathepure requires a second, aerobic step to              
            achieve complete dehalogenation.                                                                  
                   Fathepure also fails to describe an in situ method of organic halide dehalogenation        
            as part of that work .  To supply this missing teaching, the examiner refers to a reference       
            7a (Dooley-Danna) disclosed on page 3422 of Fathepure.  However, the examiner                     
            Dooley-Danna describe the sequential anaerobic/aerobic biodegradation of chlorinated              
            ethenes in an aquifer simulator.  In situ biodegradation of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and         
            trichloroethylene (TCE) is performed by adding nutrients to groundwater that stimulate the        
            activity of naturally occurring bacteria.  In the first anaerobic stage, PCE and TCE are          
            degraded to dichloroethylene (DCE).  Oxygen is then introduced in the aerobic stage to            


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