Cr(VI) removal by FeS-coated alumina, silica, and natural sand

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Minji Park, Sangchul Lee and Hoon Young Jeong, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea
Removal of Cr(VI) was investigated using mackinawite (FeS)-coated mineral sorbents under anoxic conditions. The sorbents included alumina (Al), silica (WS), and natural sand (NS). By analysis of both solution and solid phases, all FeS-coated sorbents were found to reduce Cr(VI) into Cr(III). The sorption extent and mechanism of Cr(VI) strongly depended on the pH conditions. Only at pH 4.5, significant amounts of the dissolved Cr remained in the solution. Titration of dissolved Cr(III) and Fe(III) by NaOH solutions indicated that no bulk-phase precipitation occurred at pH 4.5. Also, the removal of Cr(VI) at pH 4.5 was the greatest by FeS-coated NS. Consistent with these, Cr-K edge EXAFS revealed that Cr was removed by FeS-coated NS via surface precipitation, and that it was immobilized by FeS-coated WS and Al by forming surface clusters. Regardless of FeS-coated sorbents, at pH 7.0 and pH 9.5, the initially added Cr(VI) was quantitatively removed from the solution phase. By EXAFS analysis, the Cr sorption by FeS-coated Al was mainly due to the bulk-phase precipitation of Cr(OH)3(s) or [Cr, Fe](OH)3(s). In case of FeS-coated WS and NS, the short Cr-Cr distance (~2.6 Å) at pH 7.0 and pH 9.5 was not simply accounted for by the bulk precipitation as either hydroxide (rCr-Cr ~ 3.0 Å), and it would rather result from the surface precipitation. Such a difference in the coordination structure among FeS-coated sorbents was likely due to in the lower surface area of the former available for the surface precipitation.