Waqas Zulfiqar has expertise on environmental issues in soil and water related topics. The removal of contaminants from soil and water by use of potential gradient is the emerging lab-sale technique which is major part of my studies. The previous work was on removal of heavy metals in soil and now he is working on removal of radio-nuclides in soil.
Chromium is a heavy metal and carcinogenic in the environment. Heavy amount of hazardous form of chromium exist in industrial waste that may transport to water, air and soil by various media. Permissible level of chromium in soil is 31 mg/kg and in water is 0.05 mg/L. Above this level it causes harmful diseases e.g. ulceration, DNA damage and kidney problems. An ecological and novel way; electrochemical decontamination of chromium contaminated soils is designed either to reduce hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium or to remove it. In this study, electrochemical experiment was performed to extract chromium from intentionally contaminated soil with known concentration (0.2829 g/kg) of potassium dichromate. Iron electrodes were used to produce reducing environment for chromium reduction from hazardous form Cr(VI) to Cr(III). In this study an electrical potential gradient of 1 V/cm was applied across the soil for 6 days. After the completion of experimental work the concentration of Fe+ and Cr+ ions in soil specimen was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) respectively. The analysis of Cr+ and Fe+ by (AAS) indicated that Fe has reduced the Cr(IV) to Cr(III) in soil specimen. The removal efficiency of total chromium from soil specimen after EK treatment was 31%. The results presented in this study indicate that EK is a favorable technique for the removal of Cr-ions from soil in the presence of iron electrodes.