ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Effect of exopolymeric substances on the kinetics of sorption and desorption of trivalent chromium in soil

Cetin Kantar, Aydeniz Demir, and Nurcan Koleli

Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, 170 20, Canakkale, Turkey



Abstract: Laboratory batch sorption-desorption and column experiments were performed to better understand the effects of microbial exopolymeric substances (EPS) on Cr(III) sorption/desorption rates in the soil-water system. The experiments were carried out in two different modes: one mode (sorption) in which Cr(III) and EPS were applied simultaneously, and the other (desorption) included the sequential application of Cr(III) and EPS to the soil-water system. The batch sorption and desorption experiments showed that, while chromium(III) desorption was significantly enhanced in the presence of EPS relative to non-EPS-containing systems, the desorption rates were much smaller than the sorption rates, and the fraction dissolved by EPS accounted for only a small portion of the total chromium initially sorbed onto soil minerals. Similarly, the column experiments suggested that, while the microbial EPS led to an increase in Cr dissolution relative to non-EPS-containing systems, only a small portion of the total chromium initially added to the soil was mobilised. The differences observed in Cr sorption and desorption rates can be explained through the very low solubility and strong interactions of chromium species with soil minerals as well as the mass transfer effects associated with low diffusion rates. The overall results suggest that, while microbial EPS may play an important role in microbial Cr(VI) treatment in sub-surface systems due to the formation of soluble Cr-EPS complexes, the extent and degree of Cr mobilisation are highly dependent on the type of initial Cr sorption.

Keywords: chromium – adsorption – rate – transport – complexation – desorption

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0427-4


Chemical Papers 68 (1) 112–120 (2014)

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