Investigations on different positions of electrodes and their effects on the distribution of Cr at the water sediment interface

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Abstract:

In most mining areas, significant concentrations of metals such as Pb, Cu, Cr, Zn, Cd, Fe, Mn, Co, Ni, Hg, Ar, halogenated organic compounds and radionuclides are found. Of those, Cr is one of the well-known heavy metals that forms toxic species. It is necessary to study the mobilisation and accumulation of Cr at the sediment water interface in an electric field at varying different positions and conditions of the electrode arrangement. The tests were carried out with a natural sediment containing heavy metals from the river Weisse Elster (Germany). The electrokinetic experiments have been performed in columns filled with sediment using electrodes made of conductive polymers (polyethylene with carbon black) at a maximum current density of 0.5 mA/cm2. The experimental results suggest that the mobilisation and accumulation of chromium highly depends on chemical factors for e.g., pH value, redox potential, respectively redox status and the content of iron, aluminium and organic matter in the soil or sediment. The sorption of Cr (III, VI) is very high in the pH range > 4.5. As expected, a high mobilisation of Cr (III, VI) was seen in the case of the experiments with the anode at the sediment, because the pH value was lower than mentioned above. On the opposite, the best conditions for the Cr (III, VI)-immobilisation is high pH values (cathode at the sediment).

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