Hexavalent chromium reduction by Bacillus sp. in a packed-bed bioreactor

Evans M.N. Chirwa, Yi Tin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The potential for fixed-film bioreactors to reduce Cr(VI) was demonstrated using a Cr(VI)-reducing species, Bacillus sp. A bench-scale, packed-bed bioreactor was operated to steady-state conditions under a range of influent Cr(VI) concentrations (10-200 mg/L) and hydraulic detention times (6-24 h, clean bed) with near complete removal of Cr(VI). The steady-state Cr(VI) reduction efficiency was not affected by the influent Cr(VI) concentration or hydraulic detention time. Chromium mass balance analysis revealed that nearly all the Cr(VI) fed to the bioreactor was accounted for in the effluent as Cr(VI) and Cr(III). Total cell mass in the bioreactor decreased with increasing Cr(VI) loading rate, but it stabilized after a loading limit was reached (1016 mg of Cr(VI)/L·day) when operated under 24 h hydraulic detention time. The bioreactor showed strong resilience by recovering from Cr(VI) overloading through reduction in influent Cr(VI) concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1451
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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