Biotransformation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3) was observed in an anaerobic packed-bed reactor under conditions of both sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. Acetate (1 mM) served as an electron donor. CH3CCl3 was completely converted up to the highest investigated concentration of 10 mu M. 1,1-dichloroethane and chloroethane were found to be the main transformation products. A fraction of the CH3CCl3 was completely dechlorinated via an unknown pathway. The rate of transformation and the transformation products formed depended on the concentrations of CH3CCl3, acetate and sulfate. With an increase in sulfate and CH3CCl3 concentrations and a decrease in acetate concentration, the degree of CH3CCl3 dechlorination decreased. Both packed-bed reactor studies and batch experiments with bromoethanesulfonic acid, an inhibitor of methanogenesis, demonstrated the involvement of methanogens in CH3CCl3 transformation. Batch experiments with molybdate showed that sulfate-reducing bacteria in the packed-bed reactor were also able to transform CH3CCl3. However, packed-bed reactor experiments indicated that sulfate reducers only had a minor contribution to the overall transformation in the packed-bed reactor.