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Biological Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium—A Field Study

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When ferrochromium is produced at Vargön Alloys AB (Vargön, Sweden), an offgas dust is generated as a byproduct. A leachate that contains hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) is formed when rainwater percolates through the dust deposit. In this study, Cr6+ in the leachate was reduced to trivalent chromium (Cr3+) by biological treatment in a biofilm process operated under anaerobic conditions. The reactor volume was 26 m3 and it was filled with 16 m3 plastic packing. Acetic acid was added as an electron donor. The Cr6+ was reduced from 10 to 20 mg/L to below 0.03 mg/L when the reactor was operated at a hydraulic retention time of 11 hours. The reduction activity in the process gradually decreased as the water temperature dropped below 10°C.
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Keywords: biofilm process; biological treatment; chromate reduction; hexavalent chromium; packed bed; suspended carriers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2005

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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