Removal of hexavalent chromium from groundwater using zero-valent iron media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Groundwater contaminated by hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a worldwide problem resulting from the widespread industrial use of chromium. Zerovalent iron (Fe0) and Fe(II)-containing minerals have been found to be effective at removing dissolved Cr(VI) from water via reductive precipitation of trivalent chromium [Cr(III)] compounds. Permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) containing Fe0 filings can be effective for removing Cr(VI) from groundwater for concentrations up to ˜10,000 μg/L. However, both field and laboratory studies indicate that higher Cr(VI) concentrations result in passivation of the Fe0 surfaces and make Fe0 ineffective for long-term Cr(VI) removal. Results from a field test in Elizabeth City, North Carolina indicate that Fe0 barriers can remove Cr(VI) to levels below 1 μg/L for more than 8 years with no loss in performance, and only minor amounts of pore clogging by precipitated minerals. Spectroscopic evidence indicates that Cr(III) forms solid solutions with a variety of Fe(II) and Fe(III) containing oxides, such as carbonate green rust, siderite, and ferric hydroxide. Microbiological activity that results in precipitation of sulfide minerals, such as mackinawite, also appears to contribute to Cr(VI) removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationZero-Valent Iron Reactive Materials for Hazardous Waste and Inorganics Removal
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780784471739
ISBN (Print)9780784408810
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Barriers
  • Chromium
  • Field investigations
  • Iron
  • Kinetics
  • Mineral deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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