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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Jul 15;37(14):3206-13.

Chromium remediation or release? Effect of iron(II) sulfate addition on chromium(VI) leaching from columns of chromite ore processing residue.

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The Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB 8QH, UK.


Chromite ore processing residue (COPR), derived from the so-called high lime processing of chromite ore, contains high levels of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) and has a pH between 11 and 12. Ferrous sulfate, which is used for remediation of Cr(VI) contamination in wastewater and soils via reduction to Cr(III) and subsequent precipitation of iron(III)/chromium(III) hydroxide, has also been proposed for remediation of Cr(VI) in COPR. Instead, however, addition of FeSO4 to the infiltrating solution in column experiments with COPR greatly increased leaching of Cr(VI). Leached Cr(VI) increased from 3.8 to 12.3 mmol kg(-1) COPR in 25 pore volumes with 20 mM FeSO4, reaching solution concentrations as high as 1.6 mM. Fe(II) was ineffective in reducing Cr(VI) to Cr(III) because it precipitated when it entered the column due to the high pH of COPR, while Cr(VI) in solution was transported away with the infiltrating solution. The large increase in leaching of Cr(VI) upon infiltration of sulfate, either as FeSO4 or Na2SO4, was caused by anion exchange of sulfate for chromate in the layered double hydroxide mineral hydrocalumite, a process for which scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis provided direct evidence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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