A critical review on bioremediation technologies for Cr(VI)-contaminated soils and wastewater

Shaopan Xia, Zhaoliang Song, Paramsothy Jeyakumar, Sabry M. Shaheen, Jörg Rinklebe, Yong Sik Ok, Nanthi Bolan, Hailong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Citations (Scopus)


Chromium (Cr) is a potentially toxic metal originating from natural processes and anthropogenic activities such as the iron-steel, electroplating, and leather industries, which is carcinogen to living organisms and has an ecological risk. Hence, research into the remediation of Cr pollution has attracted widespread attention. Bioremediation techniques have advantages of causing little disturbance to soil and water, low cost, simple and convenient operation, and less secondary pollution. In this review, we briefly describe the chemical properties of Cr, sources of Cr pollution, environmental quality, toxicological/health effects of Cr, and analytical methods. We also discuss the factors that govern methods for the bioremediation of Cr and compare their advantages and disadvantages. In particular, we focus on efforts to establish Cr bioremediation processes and their mechanisms. The main mechanisms include biosorption, bioaccumulation, complexation, electrostatic attraction, Cr(VI) reduction to Cr(III), and ion exchange, which decrease the Cr(VI) concentrations and convert Cr(VI) into Cr(III) lowering its toxicity and making it environmentally benign. However, bioremediation is still a challenging technique and most studies remain at the laboratory stage. Therefore we suggest areas for future research and provide theoretical guidance and a scientific basis for the application of biosorbents for Cr(VI) bioremediation in soils and wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1078
Number of pages52
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 18


  • Chromium
  • Cr(VI) reduction
  • biomaterial
  • biosorption
  • biotransformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'A critical review on bioremediation technologies for Cr(VI)-contaminated soils and wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this