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Chromium(VI) removal by mechanochemically sulfidated zero valent iron and its effect on dechlorination of trichloroethene as a co-contaminant

Zou, Haowen, Hu, Erdan, Yang, Shangyuan, Gong, Li, He, Feng
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.650 pp. 419-426
chromium, dechlorination, dissolved oxygen, electron transfer, electrons, groundwater, groundwater contamination, hydrogen, iron, models, pH, protons, remediation
Mechanochemically sulfidated microscale zero valent iron (S-mZVIbm) is a promising groundwater remediation material as it has been proven to be not only efficient in dechlorinating chlorinated compounds but also amenable to up-scaling. Yet, its efficiency in treating metal contaminants remains barely studied. In this study, we investigated the mechanism and efficiencies of Cr(VI) removal by S-mZVIbm and its effect on TCE dechlorination as a co-contaminant. The Cr(VI) removal by S-mZVIbm was mainly a chemisorption process and its kinetics was well fitted by a pseudo-second-order model. Alkaline pH inhibited Cr(VI) removal while dissolved oxygen slightly depressed the Cr(VI) removal. The Cr(VI) removal rapidly formed a non-conductive layer on S-mZVIbm surface to hinder further electron transfer from Fe0 core before H+ was able to accept any electrons to produce H2, which resulted in 100% electron efficiencies of Cr(VI) removal but <1% of Fe0 utilization efficiency. The presence of Cr(VI) also dramatically inhibited the dechlorination of TCE and its electron efficiency as a co-contaminant by passivating the FeS surface. Therefore, Cr(VI) is likely to be an electron sink if present for remediation of other contaminants in groundwater.