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Hexavalent Chrome Removal

As with other metals, in cases where the groundwater is destined for potable use, chrome contamination creates some level of human health concerns ranging from very mild to severe.

 What is Hexavalent Chrome?

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     John Lombardo
     Product Manager
     Phone: +1 781-506-9624

 

 

Hexavalent Chromium, sometimes also referred to as Hex-Chrome, Chrome-6 (Chrome-VI), or Chromium-6 (Chromium-VI), occurs naturally in the environment from the erosion of chromium deposits. It can also be released to the environment via industrial processes exhibiting inadequate production, storage, or waste disposal practices. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Industrial use of chromium includes in metal alloys such as stainless steel; protective coatings on metal; magnetic tapes; and pigments for paints, cement, paper, rubber, composition floor covering, and other materials.

Once present, chromium compounds are very persistent in water and often are present in particulate form as sediment. Some of the particulate chromium will remain as suspended matter and ultimately be deposited in sediments.

 

Read our case study on treating groundwater supply in Odessa, Texas of hexavalent chrome. Click here.

 The Health Effects of Chrome-6

‚ÄčIncreased urbanization and drinking water demand in areas of industrial activity has increased the frequency of problem metals in drinking water. As with other metals, in cases where the groundwater is destined for potable use, chrome contamination creates some level of human health concerns ranging from very mild to severe, with the potential to cause damage to organs (liver and kidney specifically), the circulatory system, nerve tissues, and skin irritation from long-term exposures at levels above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). 

Thus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) has set a MCL in drinking water for total chromium at 100 parts per billion (ppb) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has set a MCL of hex-chrome at 10 parts per billion (ppb). Note that at the federal level, guidelines are available only for total chromium, which consists of trivalent chromium (or, chromium-3), which is an essential human dietary element found in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and yeast, and chromium-6, whereas the CDPH presents data for chromium-6 only.

 Solutions for Removal of Hex-Chrome

‚ÄčIon exchange is the most frequently used treatment technology for chromium. This technology removes chromium ions from the aqueous phase by replacing them with the anion present in the ion exchange resin. As contaminated water is passed through the resin, contaminant ions are exchanged for other ions such as chlorides or hydroxides in the resin.

We also offer a service-based treatment option for handling hexavalent and trivalent chrome contamination. We know that for many of our customers, a solution often comes down to costs. Contact us to discuss your specific needs so we can build an estimate for removal of chrome-6 on your site.