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Moisture content-affected electrokinetic remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated clay by a hydrocalumite barrier

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An electrokinetic–permeable reaction barrier (EK-PRB) system was introduced in this study with hydrocalumite as the barrier material. The combined system effectively remediated the Cr(VI)-contaminated clay after a 72-h treatment, and the Cr(VI) removal efficiency increased with the initial soil moisture content. Further evidence was found that the changing soil pH value and current density were highly associated with the initial moisture content, showing its important roles in the Cr(VI) removal process. Additionally, the total Cr removal efficiency was much lower than that of Cr(VI) owing to the partial conversion of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in the electrokinetic remediation process. Under high soil moisture conditions (40 %), the removal efficiency of Cr(VI) and total Cr was 96.6 and 67.3 %, respectively. Further analysis also revealed the new mineral phase, chromate hydrocalumite, for Cr fixation in the hydrocalumite barrier, which was significantly affected by the initial soil moisture content. Our results showed that the EK-PRB system with a hydrocalumite barrier is highly promising with great potential for the effective remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated clay and engineering implementation.

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This project is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21107067) and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT13078).

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Correspondence to Guangren Qian.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Xu, Y., Xu, X., Hou, H. et al. Moisture content-affected electrokinetic remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated clay by a hydrocalumite barrier. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 6517–6523 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5685-y

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  • Cr(VI)-contaminated clay
  • Electrokinetic
  • Permeable reaction barrier (PRB)
  • Hydrocalumite
  • Moisture content