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Microbially mediated chromate reduction in soil contaminated by highly alkaline leachate from chromium containing waste

Stewart, D.I., Burke, I.T., Hughes-Berry, D.V. and Whittleston, R.A. (2010) Microbially mediated chromate reduction in soil contaminated by highly alkaline leachate from chromium containing waste. Ecological Engineering, 36 (2). pp. 211-221. ISSN 0925-8574

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Abstract

This paper reports an investigation into the possible fate of Cr(VI) that is migrating downwards from a chromium ore processing residue (COPR) tip into the underlying soils. Thiswastewas deposited at a site in the north of England more than 100 years ago and is currently a cause for environmental concern because groundwater emerging from thewaste is alkaline, visibly yellowand has an elevated Cr(VI) concentration. Sandy clay from immediately beneath the waste (assumed to be the topsoil layer prior to waste tipping) contains between about 600 and 3000mgkg−1 of Cr, and around 60% of 0.5N HCl extractable iron was present as reduced Fe(II). DNA fragments fromsoil bacteria were extracted from this soil, and microcosm experiments where the pH was adjusted to more neutral values showed that it contains a viable bacterial population capable of iron-reduction. This sandy clay layer, despite a pH value of 10.5, appears to be acting as a natural reactive zone beneath the waste as it is accumulating chromium. It is thought that the mechanism of Cr(VI) reduction is most likely to be an abiotic reaction with the Fe(II) present in the soil, and that Fe(II) in the soil is being replenished by microbial iron-reduction (although the rate of replenishment is unknown).

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Anaerobe, Alkaliphile, Bacteria, Chromate, Contaminated land, COPR, Iron-reduction, Microbial-reduction
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Civil Engineering (Leeds) > Inst for Pathogen Control Engineering (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Civil Engineering (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Institute of Geological Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ms Caroline Wilson
Date Deposited: 22 May 2009 16:54
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:36
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2008.12.028
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2008.12.028
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8633

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