The effects of soil organic matter on leaching of hexavalent chromium from concrete waste: Batch and column experiments
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- NGI articles 
Original versionJournal of Environmental Management. 2022, 309 . 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.114708
Concrete is one of the most common building materials in the world and in accordance with the world’s shift to a circular economy, there is a need of an increase in concrete reuse and recycling. One of the environmental concerns linked to concrete recycling is the leaching and spread of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). In the present study the Cr(VI) leaching from crushed concrete waste and the effects of soil organic matter (SOM) on chromium (Cr) speciation has been investigated in realistic reuse scenarios by the means of batch shale tests and layered column tests. The effects of concrete properties (pH, grain size and age) on Cr(VI) leaching was also studied. Cr leaching from concrete alone is mainly in the form of Cr(VI), with the pH of the leachate being >10. The smaller the grainsize of the concrete, the higher the Cr(VI) concentration is in the leachate. There was no correlation between the age of the concrete and concrete leaching. When exposed to SOM the Total-Cr concentration in the leachate was reduced. The reduction increased with higher TOC level, with a 99% reduction at very high TOC (25%). The results indicate that Cr(VI) leaching from recycled concrete waste can be mitigated by exposing it to SOM in the desired recycling scenario.