Impact of wastewater derived dissolved organic carbon on reduction, mobility, and bioavailability of As(V) and Cr(VI) in contaminated soils
Kunhikrishnan, A, Choppala, G, Seshadri, B, Wijesekara, H, Bolan, NS, Mbene, K & Kim, WII in press, 'Impact of wastewater derived dissolved organic carbon on reduction, mobility, and bioavailability of As(V) and Cr(VI) in contaminated soils', Journal of Environmental Management.
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In this work, the effects of various wastewater sources (storm water, sewage effluent, piggery effluent, and dairy effluent) on the reduction, and subsequent mobility and bioavailability of arsenate [As(V)] and chromate [Cr(VI)] were compared using both spiked and field contaminated soils. Wastewater addition to soil can increase the supply of carbon, nutrients, and stimulation of microorganisms which are considered to be important factors enhancing the reduction of metal(loid)s including As and Cr. The wastewater-induced mobility and bioavailability of As(V) and Cr(VI) were examined using leaching, earthworm, and soil microbial activity tests. The rate of reduction of As(V) was much less than that of Cr(VI) both in the presence and absence of wastewater addition. Wastewater addition increased the reduction of both As(V) and Cr(VI) compared to the control (Milli-Q water) and the effect was more pronounced in the case of Cr(VI). The leaching experiment indicated that Cr(VI) was more mobile than As(V). Wastewater addition increased the mobility and bioavailability of As(V), but had an opposite effect on Cr(VI). The difference in the mobility and bioavailability of Cr(VI) and As(V) between wastewater sources can be attributed to the difference in their dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content. The DOC provides carbon as an electron donor for the reduction of As(V) and Cr(VI) and also serves as a complexing agent thereby impacting their mobility and bioavailability. The DOC-induced reduction increased both the mobility and bioavailability of As, but it caused an opposite effect in the case of Cr.