Anaerobic Biochem (ABC®), The “GREEN” Substrate

In 2003, Redox Tech introduced its proprietary formulation for anaerobic biodegradation of halogenated solvents in groundwater. The product, Anaerobic Biochem or ABC®, is a patented mixture of lactates, fatty acids, alcohols and a phosphate buffer. ABC® contains soluble lactic acid as well as slow- and long-term releasing components. Redox Tech was one of the first companies to recognize the importance of maintaining optimum pH for bacterial growth, and for that reason, ABC® has always had a phosphate buffer and other alkaline materials, when necessary, to help maintain optimal pH. The phosphates phosphate buffer, also serves as a micronutrient for bioremediation.

Since ABC’s introduction, millions of pounds of ABC® have been used on hundreds of sites throughout the United States and even Europe. Over time, the “essential ingredients” have been slightly modified, but to our knowledge, ABC® remains the only carbon substrate on the crowded market that is formulated specifically for each site’s unique geochemistry, biology, and hydrogeology.


Redox Tech is a niche environmental remediation contractor. Therefore, we have always felt obligated to be environmentally conscious. Before “green” was all the rave, Redox Tech refined waste streams from green energy processes, such as ethanol and biodiesel production to formulate ABC®. Only a small percentage of the components are “virgin” chemicals.


  • WATER SOLUBLE – the biggest advantage with ABC® is that it is completely soluble in water, even the long-lasting carbon component. There is no need to emulsify our product, and thus no worry about an emulsion breaking. Also, because it is a water soluble product, the need for large volumes of “chase” water is eliminated.
  • LONG LASTING – ABC® has C14 to C18 fatty acids that have been shown in the field to last for over two years. Emulsified oils eventually break down into bioavailable C18 fatty acids through hydrolysis, so we are essentially using the same long-lived components of emulsified oils without having to emulsify or wait for hydrolysis to occur.
  • NATURAL CO-SOLVENT – ABC®, through a license with Oregon State University, adds ethyl lactate which is a “green” co-solvent. This helps dissolve fatty acids, and it also serves as a solvent for sites that may have DNAPL, because the ethyl lactate solvates the DNAPL and promotes rapid treatment.
  • GREEN – ABC® is formulated with byproducts from “green” energy processes, so it is better for the environment.
  • COST-COMPETITIVE – carbon substrates are becoming commodities, and ABC® is priced accordingly. When all factors are considered, ABC® is a great value.