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Meeting California's Hexavalent Chromium MCL Using Strong Base Anion Exchange Resin

  • Author(s): Li, Xue; Green, Peter G.; Seidel, Chad; Gorman, Craig; Darby, Jeannie L.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: September 2016
  • Volume / Number: 108, Number 9
  • Page(s): E474-E481
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0083494
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The use of five strong base anion exchange resins to treat three potable groundwater sources to meet the new California maximum contaminant level (MCL) for hexavalent chromium (10 µg/L) was investigated. Depending on the resin used, bed volumes treated before breakthrough of total chromium (to 8 µg/L) ranged from approximately 13,800 to 26,400. At the point of resin exhaustion, uptake of total chromium (meq/L) accounted for less than 1% of the exchange capacity reported by resin vendors, whereas the uptake of sulfate accounted for 54-76%. Reusing the brine nine times produced a tenfold reduction in the volume of spent brine requiring ultimate disposal without significantly impairing resin performance. Chromium breakthrough profiles were relatively insensitive to a change in empty bed contact time (0.75 and 2.25 min) and hydraulic loading rates (8-55 mL/min-cm2, 1.96-13.5 gpm/sf).

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