Characterization and evaluation of a tropical peat for the removal of Cr(VI) from solution

  • Marilia Mayumi Augusto dos Santos
  • Mirian Chieko Shinzato
  • Juliana Gardenalli de Freitas
Original Article


Tropical peat soils present higher ash content than those generated at temperate climate areas. Therefore, this study evaluated the characteristics of a Brazilian organic soil (OS), commercialized as peat, as well as its capacity in removing Cr(VI) from contaminated waters. The OS is composed of 35.5 wt% of organic matter and 56 wt% of inorganic fraction (ash), which is formed by minerals and phytoliths rich in silica (29.2 wt%) and alumina (23.6 wt%). The Cr(VI) removal tests were carried out in batch and column systems using OS and solutions of Cr(VI) prepared with distilled water and groundwater. Batch tests revealed that the organic substances in the OS caused the reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), with an efficiency depending on solution pH. At pH 5.0 the Cr(VI) removal was 0.45 mg g−1 in 24 h; whereas at pH 2.0, this removal increased to 1.10 mg g−1. Since this redox reaction is very slow, the removal of Cr(VI) at pH 5.0 increased to around 2 mg g−1 after 5 days. The removal of Cr(VI) was more effective in the column tests than in the batch test due to the greater solid/solution ratio, and their half-lives were 4.4 and 26.2 h, respectively. Chemical analysis indicated that Cr(VI) was reduced by the humic substances of OS, followed by the precipitation and/or adsorption of Cr(III) into the organic and inorganic components, as anatase. The presence of Cr(III) increased the stability of anatase structure, avoiding its transformation into rutile, even after being heated at 800 °C/2 h.


Organic soil Ash Chromium Reduction Anatase 



The authors would like to acknowledge Prof. Dr. José Guilherme Franchi for the donation of the peat samples from São Luiz do Paraitinga (SP) and the anonymous referees for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências AmbientaisQuímica e Farmacêutica da Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP-Campus Diadema)DiademaBrazil

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