Cation effects on chromium removal in permeable reactive walls

Andrew Karvonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Permeable reactive walls have proven to be successful in laboratory and pilot-scale field applications. However, the long-term efficacy of reactive permeable walls has not been established due to the novelty of the technology. Also, the impact of common groundwater ions such as calcium and magnesium (i.e., hardness) on permeable reactive walls is unknown. In theory, the ions may react competitively with chromium in solution and/or other materials on the surface of the zero-valent iron. The ions may also form precipitates that could clog the reactive zone over time, resulting in decreased contaminant removal and a shorter wall lifetime. The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of common groundwater ions on permeable reactive walls. A range of calcium and magnesium concentrations was tested in laboratory columns to determine the effect of these ions on removal of a constant chromium concentration (100 mg/L). Results from the laboratory tests indicated that calcium and magnesium had a significant impact on chromium removal. The most dramatic effects were witnessed at hardness levels up to 140 mg/L as CaCO3 where zero-valent iron capacity was reduced by 45%. © ASCE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-866
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Abatement and removal
  • Chromium
  • Contamination
  • Ground water
  • Walls
  • Water pollution


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