Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 161, Issue 1–4, pp 313–334 | Cite as

The Monitoring of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in Natural Water and Synthetic Solutions: An Assessment of the Performance of the Dgt and Dpc Methods



The technique of diffusive gradients in thin films or diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) has been used in this work for the in situ measurement of labile Cr(III) and Cr(VI) species. Direct measurement of Cr(VI) was also carried out in parallel with a field-based colourimetric technique based on the EPA 7196 diphenyl-carbohydrazide (DPC) method. The efficiency of the DGT and DPC methods were tested (a) in the laboratory, using synthetic solutions in the presence of realistic concentrations of Cr, humic substances (HS), and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and (b) in the field, in river water affected by effluents discharged by the tannery industry. The main advantage of the DGT method is that it allows the in situ separation of labile species of Cr(III) and Cr(VI), though there are still uncertainties about its performance in field conditions. The DPC method proved to be a fast, accurate, and relatively economical option for the field-based determination of Cr(VI). Sample acidification and ageing of unacidified samples from contaminated aquatic environments, produced significant errors in the determination of ‘dissolved’ Cr. The concentration of Cr(VI) determined by either the DGT or the DPC method exceeds recommended international guidelines.


Cr(III) Cr(VI) DGT diphenyl-carbohydrazide (DPC) EDTA humic substances river water 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Applied SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolU.K.

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