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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of electrolyte composition on chromium desorption in soils contaminated by tannery waste
Author: Avudainayagam, S.
Naidu, R.
Kookana, R.
Alston, A.
McClure, S.
Smith, L.
Citation: Soil Research, 2001; 39(5):1077-1089
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0004-9573
Abstract: We conducted batch studies to investigate the effect of phosphate and dominant cations present in tannery waste on desorption of chromium (Cr) from surface and subsurface soil horizons from a contaminated tannery waste site at Mount Barker, South Australia. The surface horizon (0–15 cm) of the soil profile was alkaline (pH 7.9) and the subsurface horizon (50–90 cm) was acidic (pH 3.9). Aqua-regia extractable Cr concentration ranged from 62 g/kg in the surface to 0.26 g/kg in the subsurface soils. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopic studies revealed the predominance of carbonate and kaolin minerals in the surface soils, and highly weathered framboidal particles, with morphology similar to that of pyrites, in the subsurface soils. The amount of Cr desorbed from the contaminated soils varied considerably with both the electrolyte’s cationic charge and soil properties. The effect of cations, Ca²⁺ and Na⁺ (CaCl₂ , NaCl), and phosphate on desorption of Cr was investigated. While the ionic strength of the solutions was standardised at approximately 0.03 mol/L, the concentration of phosphate (as KH₂ PO₄) was varied from 0 to 3.2 mmol/L. On the basis of studies on solution to soil ratio and desorption kinetics we chose a 20: 1 solution to soil ratio and 2 h equilibration time. In the surface alkaline soil, the amount of Cr released decreased in the order Na⁺ (286 μg/L) ≥ water (256 μg/L) > Ca²⁺ (156 μg/L). In contrast subsurface acidic soil showed a reverse trend, i.e. Ca²⁺ (52 μg/L) > Na⁺ (29 μg/L) > water (20 μg/ L). Speciation of Cr in the extracts showed predominantly Cr(VI) in the alkaline surface soil and Cr(III) in the subsurface acidic soil. A strong effect of phosphate on the cumulative amount of chromate desorbed was observed. The study shows that the presence of high concentrations of Na⁺ (0.03 mol/L) and phosphate (3.2 mmol/L) in soil solution enhances Cr(VI) mobility. In contrast, Ca²⁺ may induce retention of Cr(VI) in Cr-contaminated alkaline soils.
Keywords: Hexavalent chromium
contaminated site
DOI: 10.1071/SR00085
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
Soil and Land Systems publications

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