Kinetics and Products of Chromium(VI) Reduction by Iron(II/III)-Bearing Clay Minerals

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Claresta Joe-Wong , Kate Maher, Gordon E. Brown


Hexavalent chromium is a water-soluble pollutant, the mobility of which can be controlled by reduction of Cr(VI) to less soluble, environmentally benign Cr(III). Iron(II/III)-bearing clay minerals are widespread potential reductants of Cr(VI), but the kinetics and pathways of Cr(VI) reduction by such clay minerals are poorly understood. We reacted aqueous Cr(VI) with two abiotically reduced clay minerals: an Fe-poor montmorillonite and an Fe-rich nontronite. The effects of ionic strength, pH, total Fe content, and the fraction of reduced structural Fe(II) [Fe(II)/Fe(total)] were examined. The last variable had the largest effect on Cr(VI) reduction kinetics: for both clay minerals, the rate constant of Cr(VI) reduction varies by more than 3 orders of magnitude with Fe(II)/Fe(total) and is described by a linear free energy relationship. Under all conditions examined, Cr and Fe K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectra show that the main Cr-bearing product is a Cr(III)-hydroxide and that Fe remains in the clay structure after reacting with Cr(VI). This study helps to quantify our understanding of the kinetics of Cr(VI) reduction by Fe(II/III)-bearing clay minerals and may improve predictions of Cr(VI) behavior in subsurface environments.



Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics



Published: 2020-02-24 18:28


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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