Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 8589–8597 | Cite as

Long-term effect of nitrate on Cr(VI) removal by Fe0: column studies

  • Minghai Wei
  • Fang Yuan
  • Guoxin Huang
  • Honghan Chen
  • Fei LiuEmail author
Research Article


Lab-scale parallel continuous-flow column experiments were performed to assess the long-term effect of nitrate (NO3 ) on hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) removal by scrap iron (Fe0). The first column (L1) was fed with the Cr(VI) solution and the second column (L2) was loaded with the Cr(VI) + NO3 solution. Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy energy-dispersive X-ray analyses (SEM-EDS) were conducted to investigate the changes of the iron oxides on Fe0. The results showed that the process of Cr(VI) removal by Fe0 was divided into three different stages in the presence of NO3 : inhibition period (<198 pore volumes (PVs)); promotion period (198∼1025 PVs); and complete passivation period (1025∼1300 PVs). During the 462∼1025 PVs, Cr(VI) removal capacity in L2 was about 2.5 times higher than that in L1, and the longevity of L2 than L1 was 275PVs longer. NO3 exhibited the most dominant effect on the Cr(VI) removal by Fe0 in the last two stages. New magnetite (Fe3O4) produced by the redox reaction of NO3 and Fe0 was discovered on the surface of the Fe0 obtained from L2. The new generated Fe3O4 could directly reduce the Cr(VI) and could also act as an inhibitor for the formation of passive film on the Fe0 surface as well as an electron mediator that facilitated electron transport from Fe0 to adsorbed Cr(VI).


Scrap iron (Fe0Nitrate (NO3Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) Long-term effect Magnetite (Fe3O4Column studies 



This study is financially supported by China Geological Survey (1212011121173).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minghai Wei
    • 1
  • Fang Yuan
    • 2
  • Guoxin Huang
    • 3
  • Honghan Chen
    • 1
  • Fei Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental EngineeringChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Z. D. H. K. Environmental Science and Technology Co., LtdBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Meat Processing TechnologyChina Meat Research CenterBeijingChina

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