Bio-immobilization and recovery of chromium using a denitrifying biofilm system: Identification of reaction zone, binding forms and end products

Min Ji , Yingxin Zhao , Junzhi Gao , Xu Zhou , Zhouran Li , Cailian Zhao , Xulong Jia


Received February 13, 2022,Revised , Accepted March 29, 2022, Available online April 12, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 70-80

Chromium is an important resource in strategic metals. Different from most studies focusing on the bio-reduction of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], this study aims to achieve the immobilization and recovery of chromium using a sequencing batch biofilm reactor. Results showed that Cr(VI) removal efficiency remained more than 99%, and 97% of reduced Cr(III) was immobilized in the biofilm. Immobilization zone, chromium forms and extracellular polymeric substances composition changes were combined to reveal the mechanism of Cr(VI) reduction and immobilization. The chromium distribution in biofilm demonstrated that intercellular layer was the main active zone with an immobilization amount of 891.70±126.32 mg/g-VSS. The reduced products analysis confirmed that trivalent chromium [Cr(III)] chelated with carboxyl, amino and other functional groups and immobilized in the form of organic Cr(III). The digestion method realized a chromium recovery efficiency of 74.59%. This study provides an alternative method for the bioremediation and resources recovery in chromium polluted wastewater.

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