A bench-scale study demonstrated the viability of bioremediation of chromium contaminated ground water. The key factor to successful bioremediation was the selection of chromium-tolerant microbes. Actual contaminated ground water samples for the test. The ground water contained total chromium of 280 mg/L, with 270 mg/L hexavalent chromium.
The original sample was split into four bottles, with one preserved as a standard. Three split samples were treated with different blends of microbes. All three of the treated samples showed a reduction in the total dissolved chromium and nearly complete conversion from hexavalent to trivalent chromium. The average total chromium concentration in the treated samples was 160 mg/L and the hexavalent chromium concentration was 0.017 mg/L in two of the three treated samples. The sediments were not isolated for testing due to the small volume of sediment in the sample bottles.
The photograph shows the untreated chromium-contaminated water on the left. The three bottles to the right were treated with various microbial blends.