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Speciation of chromium(III) in activated sludge

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Abstract:

An understanding of the fate of metals in the activated sludge process is necessary. Such knowledge is needed to assess the potential adverse effects of metals that may be associated with activated sludge and ultimately discharged into the natural environment. As an example, an equilibrium approach was developed to quantify the distribution of trivalent chromium, Cr(III) in activated sludge. Cr(III) adsorption on activated sludge exhibited linear characteristics. Cr(III) formed a 1:2 complex with soluble organic compounds remaining in wastewater treatment plant effluents. Both pH and the mean cell retention time significantly affected Cr(III) adsorption and complexation. Intracellular Cr(III) uptake was estimated by comparing the observed overall Cr(III) uptake with the predicted Cr(III) adsorption. This comparison revealed that more Cr(III) is transported to the solid phase than predicted. The predicted speciation of Cr(III) suggested that intracellular Cr(III) accounted for more than 70% of the total Cr(III) in activated sludge. Thus, intracellular uptake was an important consideration.

Keywords: ACTIVATED SLUDGE; ADSORPTION; CHROMIUM; COMPLEXATION; EQUILIBRIUM MODEL; INTRACELLULAR UPTAKE; METAL; PRECIPITATION; SPECIATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143096X127749

Publication date: 1996-05-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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