Chromium speciation in a contaminated groundwater: redox processes and temporal variability
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Chromium species (Cr(III), Cr(VI), and Cr(III)-organic) in groundwater of a tannery contaminated area were monitored during pre- and post-monsoon seasons for a period of 3 years (May 2004 to January 2007). The objectives of the study were (1) to investigate the temporal variation of chromium species and other matrix constituents and (2) to study the redox processes associated with the temporal variation of chromium species. Samples were collected from 15 dug wells and analyzed for chromium species and other constituents. The results showed that the groundwater was relatively more oxidizing during post-monsoon periods than the pre-monsoon periods. Except one sample, the concentration of chromium species were found in the order of Cr(VI)>Cr(III)>Cr(III)-organic complexes during all the pre- and post-monsoon periods. In most of the wells, the concentrations of Cr(III), Cr(VI), and Cr(III)-organic decreased during post-monsoon periods compared to their pre-monsoon concentrations. However, the Cr(VI)/CrTotal ratio still increased and the Cr(III)/CrTotal ratio decreased during post-monsoon periods in most of the samples. The possible mechanisms for the temporal variation of chromium species were (1) Fe(II) reduction of Cr(VI) vs oxidation of Fe(II) by dissolved oxygen and (2) oxidation of Cr(III) by Mn(IV).
KeywordsChromium speciation Redox transformation Chromium(III) Chromium(VI) Chromium(III)-organic complexes Groundwater
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