Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 8969–8978 | Cite as

Concomitant reduction and immobilization of chromium in relation to its bioavailability in soils

  • Girish Choppala
  • Nanthi Bolan
  • Anitha Kunhikrishnan
  • William Skinner
  • Balaji Seshadri
Bioavailability - the underlying basis for Risk Based Land Management


In this study, two carbon materials [chicken manure biochar (CMB) and black carbon (BC)] were investigated for their effects on the reduction of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] in two spiked [600 mg Cr(VI) kg−1] and one tannery waste contaminated [454 mg Cr(VI) kg−1] soils. In spiked soils, both the rate and the maximum extent of reduction of Cr(VI) to trivalent Cr [Cr(III)] were higher in the sandy loam than clay soil, which is attributed to the difference in the extent of Cr(VI) adsorption between the soils. The highest rate of Cr(VI) reduction was observed in BC-amended sandy loam soil, where it reduced 452 mg kg−1 of Cr(VI), followed by clay soil (427 mg kg−1) and tannery soil (345 mg kg−1). X-ray photoelectron microscopy confirmed the presence of both Cr(VI) and Cr(III) species in BC within 24 h of addition of Cr(VI), which proved its high reduction capacity. The resultant Cr(III) species either adsorbs or precipitates in BC and CMB. The addition of carbon materials to the tannery soil was also effective in decreasing the phytotoxicity of Cr(VI) in mustard (Brassica juncea L.) plants. Therefore, it is concluded that the addition of carbon materials enhanced the reduction of Cr(VI) and the subsequent immobilization of Cr(III) in soils.


Chromium Black carbon Reduction Bioavailability Immobilization Soil 



The authors are grateful to the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), Australia for funding this research work in collaboration with University of South Australia. The Postdoctoral fellowship program (PJ008650042012) at the National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea, supported Dr Kunhikrishnan’s contribution.

Supplementary material

11356_2013_1653_MOESM1_ESM.docx (115 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 114 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Girish Choppala
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nanthi Bolan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anitha Kunhikrishnan
    • 3
  • William Skinner
    • 4
  • Balaji Seshadri
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, Building–XUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the EnvironmentSalisburyAustralia
  3. 3.Chemical Safety Division, Department of Agro-Food SafetyNational Academy of Agricultural ScienceSuwon-siRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Ian Wark Research InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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