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Environmental Chemistry Of Chromium.

D. Rai, L. Eary, J. Zachara
Published 1989 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The processes that control the environmental chemistry of chromium include redox transformation, precipitation/dissolution, and adsorption/desorption reactions. Commonly occurring reductants, such as ferrous iron and organic material, can transform Cr(VI) to Cr(III), but manganese oxides are the only inorganic oxidants found in the environment that cause the rapid oxidation of Cr(III) to Cr(VI). In the trivalent state, chromium readily forms compounds such as Cr(OH)3 and (Cr,Fe)(OH)3. These solids show amphoteric solubility behavior, with hydroxo complexes being the dominant aqueous species of Cr(III). The relatively low solubilities of Cr(OH)3 and (Cr,Fe)(OH)3 limit Cr(III) concentrations to less than the drinking water limit over much of the pH range of environmental interest. In the hexavalent state, the formation of the Ba(S,Cr)O4 solid solution controls the dissolved chromium concentrations in environments that contain BaSO4. In the absence of solubility-controlling Cr(VI) solids, Cr(VI) concentrations in acidic to slightly alkaline conditions are expected to be limited by adsorption. Iron oxides are the most important absorbents for aqueous Cr(VI) species in most soil environments. Although these processes are complex and interrelated, each must be considered to predict the aqueous concentrations, mobility, and toxicity of chromium in the environment.
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