AFM for Chromium 6 removal Use Of AFM For Chromium 6 Removal – 

go Chromium is occasionally found in ground water in trace amount from 1 to 10 ug/l however the occurrence of chromium is usually associated with pollution from industries such a leather tanning, wood preservation and textiles. Polluted ground water may have much higher concentrations.

Hexavalent Chromium is very difficult to remove down to low concentrations, however AFM® can adsorb Cr6+ directly from the water. If the concentration is low then it may be possible to just filter the water through a deep AFM® filter bed >1200mm at a slow flowrate , 5m/hr. This may be all of the treatment required.

AFM® has a low capacity for chromium, so in order to improve performance water pretreatment may be required The Cr6+ is reduced to Cr3+ by using a reducing agent such as ferrous sulphate or calcium polysulphide. The reaction takes time, so a buffer tank of more than 30 minutes is required.

After the 30 minute contact tank, the water overflows to a second contact tank which is aerated, this oxidises any remaining ferrous to ferric which co-precipitates and flocculates the Cr3+ to form a solid particle than can be more easily removed by AFM®. The bed may take few week to get conditioned to chromium.


  1. .The pH of the water to be treated should be above pH7.5
  2. Ferrous sulphate, and lime/calcium polysulpite may be injected into the water 
via a ZPM cavitating static mixer. Application rate approx. 20:1, 20 ferrous 
to 1 Chromium, and 5:1 for the calcium polysulphite
  3. After injection the water enters a sedimentation decantation reaction tank 
for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After decantation to water enters a second 30 minute retention tank for 
aeration. The aeration level is the same as water flow, if water flow is 50m3/hr air flow is 50m3/hr applied via Dryden Aqua air diffusers. The aeration is not sufficient to oxidise the Cr3+ back to Cr6+ but it is sufficient to oxidise the Fe2+ to Fe3+ which helps to co-precipitate the Cr3+
  5. The water is pumped out of the aeration tank to an AFM pressure filter.

AFM® Filtration

Pretreatment of the water prior to filtration by AFM® is very important. AFM® will remove Cr6+ and Cr3+ by the following mechanisms:

  • Direct adsorption of Cr6+ ion on to AFM®
  • Direct adsorption of chromium Cr3+ : ferric particles onto the –ve charged surface of AFM
  • Physical filtration of most particles down to 1 micron
  • Back-washing with water will completely remove the Chromium
  • Back-wash water sludge should be separated and disposed of responsibly

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