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A Hydrogen-Based Hollow-fiber Membrane Biofilm Reactor Used for Cr(VI) Removal from Groundwater

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Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a mutagen and carcinogen that is a significant concern in water and wastewater. A simple and non-hazardous means to remove Cr(VI) is bio-reduction to Cr(III), which should precipitate as Cr(OH)3 (s). A Hydrogen-based Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR) was used for bio-reduction of Cr(VI) in groundwater. The acclimatization was achieved by culturing the biofilm, altering the Cr(VI) concentrations in influent and the supplied hydrogen pressure. After 120 days, the Cr(VI) removal rate was 83% with average reduction rate of 4.27 g/m3/d while the influent Cr(VI) concentration of 1000 μg/L. The Cr(III) concentrations increased constantly, and reached to 845 μg/L on day 60 and 800 μg/L on day 120 with different influent concentrations. Denitrification was achieved completely with NO3 --N removal rate was 99%, and sulfate reduction was also achieved nearly 35%. Increasing the H2 pressure and decreasing the influent Cr(VI) loading increased the Cr(VI) removal percentage. The total demand for H2 was largely controlled by nitrate reduction, not Cr(□) reduction. These experiments confirm that a denitrifying, H2-based MBfR can be used to reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) and remove Cr from groundwater.
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Keywords: Chromate; bio-reduction; groundwater; membrane biofilm reactor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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