The objective of the present study was to get more insight into the mechanisms that govern the high mineralization potential of a microbial community attached on a carrier material, as we found in an earlier study (Wang et al., 2010). A 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB) degrading microbial community - attached (MCCP) and non-attached (MCLM) on clay particles - was inoculated into a simplified mineral medium system. Signaling molecules (AHLs), cell growth and 1,2,4-TCB mineralization were measured at different sampling points. The production of AHLs in the MCCP system increased continuously with increasing key degrader (Bordetella sp.) cell growth and a positive correlation was observed between the production of AHLs and 1,2,4-TCB mineralization. In the MCLM system, however, 1,2,4-TCB mineralization was lower than in the MCCP system; the AHLs production per Bordetella cell was higher than in MCCP and there was no correlation between AHLs and mineralization. Moreover, in the MCCP system less different AHLs were produced than in the MCLM system. These results indicate that a microbial community attached on a carrier material has an advantage over a non-attached community: it produces signaling molecules with much less energy and effort to achieve a well-directed cell-to-cell communication resulting in a high and effective mineralization.