Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
BEUKES, J.P.; VAN ZYL, P.G and RAS, M. Treatment of Cr(VI)-containing wastes in the South African ferrochrome industry - a review of currently applied methods. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.5, pp. 347-352. ISSN 2411-9717.
South Africa holds approximately three-quarters of the world's viable chromite ore resources and dominates the global production of ferrochrome. Albeit completely unintended, small amounts of Cr(VI) are formed during ferrochrome production. Certain Cr(VI) species are regarded as carcinogenic, hence making the treatment of some ferrochrome waste materials necessary. In this paper, the Cr(VI) treatment strategies currently employed by the South African ferrochrome producers are investigated by means of a literature review and a questionnaire survey. From the discussion, it is evident that various treatment strategies are available to deal with Cr(VI)-containing waste in the ferrochrome industry. However, by far the most commonly applied treatment strategy remains the aqueous reduction of Cr(VI) with ferrous iron. The advantages and the correct application of this strategy, together with the disadvantages and pitfalls, are argued. Innovative improvements on historic practices are also discussed
Keywords : hexavalent chromium treatment; Cr(VI) treatment; ferrochrome production, Cr(VI); containing waste; South Africa.