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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Bioremediation and Biodegradation

Low-Temperature Chromium(VI) Biotransformation in Soil with Varying Electron Acceptors


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 1831-1841
    Received: Nov 13, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): angela.bielefeldt@colorado.edu
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  1. Julia K. Tseng and
  2. Angela R. Bielefeldt *
  1. Department Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Univ. of Colorado, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0428


Effective and low-cost strategies for remediating chromium (Cr)-contaminated soil are needed. Chromium(VI) leaching from contaminated soil into ground water and surface water threatens water supplies and the environment. This study tested indigenous Cr(VI) microbial transformation in batch systems at 10°C in the presence of various electron acceptors. The effects of carbon addition, spiked Cr(VI), and mixing highly contaminated soil with less contaminated soil were investigated. The results indicated that Cr(VI) can be biotransformed in the presence of different electron acceptors including oxygen, nitrate, sulfate, and iron. Sugar addition had the greatest effect on enhancing Cr(VI) removal. Less dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was consumed per amount of Cr(VI) transformed under anaerobic conditions [0.8–93 mg DOC/mg Cr(VI)] compared with aerobic conditions [1.4–265 mg DOC/mg Cr(VI)]. Toxicity of high concentrations (<160 mg/L) of spiked Cr(VI) were not evident. At Cr(VI) concentrations > 40 mg/L, aerobic conditions promoted faster Cr(VI) reduction than anaerobic conditions with nitrate or sulfate present. Biotransformation of Cr(VI) in highly contaminated soil (22 000 mg Cr/kg) was facilitated by mixing with less-contaminated soil. The study results provide a framework for evaluating indigenous Cr(VI) microbial transformation and enhance the ability to develop strategies for soil treatment.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1831–1841.