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ENVIROGEN CONDUCTS SUCCESSFUL FIELD TRIAL TO BIODEGRADE NO. 1 SUPERFUND TOXIC

 ENVIROGEN CONDUCTS SUCCESSFUL FIELD TRIAL TO
 BIODEGRADE NO. 1 SUPERFUND TOXIC
 LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Envirogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENVG) today announced that the company has successfully completed the first phase of field trials targeted to biodegrade trichloroethylene (TCE), a widely used solvent now suspected to be a human carcinogen.
 TCE has been identified as a pollutant at more Superfund sites than any other contaminant.
 In the initial phase field demonstration, a proprietary biocatalyst- reactor system was designed and transported to a site in New York state where it was installed as a slip-stream biotreatment system on an existing air stripper treating TCE-contaminated groundwater. The system, which contained a pure culture of a TCE-degrading microorganism, was monitored by trained microbiologists and engineers and displayed rapid and extensive degradation averaging 90 percent destruction with TCE-contaminated air. It is expected that this type of treatment system can ultimately be used to protect the atmosphere and atmospheric ozone from the effects of chlorinated compounds and to maintain regulatory compliance on sites that release TCE from air stripping or vapor extraction systems.
 Roger J. Colley, president and chief executive officer of Envirogen, stated: "TCE is one of the most widespread environmental hazards in the United States and overseas. Following several years of intensive laboratory research and development efforts, these results mark a milestone for the company, allowing us to now concentrate on improved bioreactor performance and scale-up." Envirogen's innovative biological approach to hazardous waste problems is being positioned within the commercial marketplace as a lower cost alternative to carbon adsorption or thermal methodologies.
 According to Dr. Roland Unterman, vice president of Research & Development, Envirogen's bioengineered approach was "the first successful field scale demonstration of a biological system for degrading TCE-contaminated air streams. We have been able to consistently achieve degradation rates greater than 90 percent in both the laboratory and now the field."
 Envirogen's technical progress on the biodegration of TCE, a persistent compound generally resistant to degradation, owes its seeds to pioneering work done both by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Amgen, Inc., a premier biotechnology firm now concentrating solely on pharmaceuticals. Envirogen holds an exclusive license with Amgen for TCE work performed there under the direction of one of its managers, Dr. Burt Ensley, who is now Envirogen's director of advanced technologies and who leads the team formed at Envirogen to further develop and demonstrate this unique technology. According to Ensley, "Pure cultures of specialized microorganisms are infrequently used in hazardous waste degradation since mixed cultures in natural communities can often be stimulated inexpensively to degrade easier organics. The degradation of chlorinated solvents such as TCE, however, requires more specialized environmental conditions. TCE degradation is most efficiently catalyzed by pure microbial cultures and Envirogen's reactor design permits the careful control of culture conditions such as temperature, pH, and the exclusion of predators and other deleterious environmental conditions. Now that we have completed this successful Phase I field trial of our biochemistry and reactor conditions, our focus is directed toward achieving higher system flow rates, and we have already begun work on this aspect."
 Envirogen is an innovative environmental biotechnology company dedicated to the business of discovering, developing, and applying new and effective solutions to the task of degrading or transforming toxic and hazardous wastes. Through its subsidiary, Vapex Environmental Technologies, Inc., the company also designs and implements vapor extraction systems for the on-site removal of organic contaminants from soils and groundwater.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Gale Smith, corporate communications of Envirogen, 609-936-9300/
 (ENVG) CO: Envirogen, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: CHM SU:


MP-MK -- PH002 -- 6407 10/29/92 08:50 EST
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Date:Oct 29, 1992
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