Leaching and reduction of chromium in soil as affected by soil organic content and plants

M. K. Banks, A. P. Schwab, Carlos Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


The oxidation state of chromium in contaminated soils is an important indicator of toxicity and potential mobility. Chromium in the hexavalent state is highly toxic and soluble, whereas the trivalent state is much less toxic and relatively insoluble. A laboratory study investigated the impact of growing plants and supplemental organic matter on chromium transport in soil. Plants alone had no appreciable effect on the chromium oxidation state in soil. Soil columns with higher organic content were associated with lower ratios of chromate:total chromium than the columns with lower organic matter. Analyses of column leachate, plant biomass, and soil indicate that more chromium leaching occurred in the vegetated, low organic columns. Retention of Cr in the soils was correlated to the Cr(III) content. Plant uptake of chromium accounted for less than 1% of the chromium removed from the soil. Overall, the addition of organic matter had the strongest influence on chromium mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Adsorption
  • Chromium
  • Heavy metals
  • Leachate
  • Phytoremediation
  • Plants
  • Redox
  • Rhizosphere
  • Soil
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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