, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 153-157
Date: 06 Feb 2008

Changes in chromium distribution during the electrodialytic remediation of a Cr (VI)-contaminated soil

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A laboratory study has been carried out to determine the feasibility of in situ remediation of chromium (VI)-contaminated soil using electrodialysis in relation to its speciation in soil. This technique is best suited for low-permeability soils or sediments, which may be difficult to remediate by other means and implies the application of a low-intensity direct current to the soil, which is separated from the electrode compartments by ion-exchange membranes. A clayey soil was prepared for use in the experiments and was characterized before being mixed with a solution of potassium dichromate for several days to produce a final Cr content of 4,056 mg/kg of soil dry wt. Remediation tests were carried out under constant-voltage conditions for periods of 7–14 days and the evolution of applied current to the cell, pH, and conductivity of the electrolytes were recorded periodically. Fractionation of chromium was determined for soil samples before and after remediation using a standardized four-step sequential extraction procedure (SEP) with acetic acid, hydroxylamine, hydrogen peroxide, and aqua regia solutions. Results show that chromium is mobilized from the most labile phases (soluble/exchangeable/carbonate). In a 15 V test, SEP results show that the amount of chromium extracted in the first step drops from 80% to 9%, but also that changes in the total chromium distribution occur during the treatment with some transferred to other soil phases that are more difficult to mobilize.