Bacterial Reduction of Cr(VI): Operational Challenges and Feasibility

Wan Azlina Ahmad, Chidambaran Kulandaisamy Venil, Evans M. Nkhalambayausi Chirwa, Yi Tin Wang, Mohd Helmi Sani, Abdul Fatah A. Samad, Mohd Farizal Ahmad Kamaroddin, Edgardo R. Donati, Maria Sofia Urbieta, Zainul Akmar Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), and trivalent chromium, Cr(III), are two chromium compounds with practical importance due to their high occurrence and solubility in the environment. Current Cr(VI) treatment techniques involve chemical reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), which posed serious threat to workers and environment notably from long exposure and toxic fumes. Recent Findings: Numerous reports have demonstrated the feasibility of using biological processes for the treatment of Cr(VI) industrial effluents by either pure culture or a consortium of Cr(VI)-reducing bacteria, with various degrees of success. Among issues to be considered include high cost of nutrient for the bacteria, low Cr resistant-reducing ability of environmental isolates, difficulty in scaling up finding in the laboratory to pilot scale and on-site application as well as the understanding on the dynamic underlying mechanisms for bacterial Cr(VI) reduction. Summary: This review highlights cytotoxicity and genotoxicity properties of Cr(VI), which form the biggest motivation for continuous development in the field of Cr(VI) treatment technologies, latest finding in aerobic and anaerobic bacterial reduction of Cr(VI), operational challenges for bacterial Cr(VI) reduction, and some examples for laboratory-scale and pilot-scale evaluation of free and immobilized (biofilm) cells of Cr(VI) resistant-reducing bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pollution Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG part of Springer Nature.


  • Bacteria
  • Bioremediation
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Pilot scale
  • Reduction
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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