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Factors affecting chemical and biological reduction of hexavalent chromium in soil

Authors

  • M.E. Losi,

    1. Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521
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  • C. Amrhein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521
    • Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521
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  • W.T. Frankenberger Jr.

    1. Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521
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Abstract

Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a common environmental pollutant that is mobile in soils and is a known mutagen The trivalent form [Cr(III)] has no known mutagenic properties and is highly insoluble and immobile above pH 5 5 Reduction to the trivalent state thus represents an effective mechanism for detoxification and immobilization of Cr(VI) in soil/water systems In this study, we conducted experiments to examine various parameters involving aerobic reduction of Cr(VI) in a field soil We found that organic matter content, bioactivity, and oxygen status were important factors Under optimum conditions, the soil reduced 96% of added Cr(VI) under aerobic, field moist conditions The pH of the system was shown to have little effect Both biological and nonbiological processes were influential, and, of 20 chromate resistant bacterial cultures isolated from soils, 9 were found to actively reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in liquid media Our study suggests that organic amended soils can readily reduce Cr(VI) and could promote excellent removal efficiency either as a primary treatment technique, or in conjunction with bioreactor type wastewater treatment systems

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