Removal of Hexavalent chromium in Portland cement using ground granulated blast-furnace slag powder

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Using ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) under different alkaline conditions, we studied the mechanisms and extents of Cr(VI) reduction and sorption and compared them to reactions with Portland cement (PC).We also investigated the effects of mixing PC/GGBS ratios on Cr(VI) dissolution after carbonating the substrates. We observed a complete sorption and reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in a GGBS-in-Ca(OH)2 solution (pH > ~12.5) after 10 h, whereas in distilled water (pH = ~11.5) GGBS exhibited only marginal sorption and reduction (20%). Cr reactions with dissolved ions in supernatants derived from GGBS indicated that the anions dissolved from GGBS act as a reducing agent for Cr(VI) in a Ca(OH)2 solution. Soft X-ray absorption microscopy identified a partial reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) on the GGBS surface. The carbonation of pure PC paste substantially increased the amount of dissolved Cr(VI) in a solution phase whereas a 5 wt % replacement of PC with GGBS significantly reduced the amount of dissolved Cr(VI).We concluded that in the mixed paste during the early curing stage GGBS reduced a significant fraction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) and that the Cr(III) adsorbed in the GGBS-PC mixture's hydration products does not readily dissolve, even under carbonation conditions.

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