Influence of sample matrix on the alkaline extraction of Cr(VI) in soils and industrial materials

Weibel, Gisela; Waber, Niklaus; Eggenberger, Urs; Mäder, Urs (2016). Influence of sample matrix on the alkaline extraction of Cr(VI) in soils and industrial materials. Environmental Earth Science, 75(7), pp. 548-562. Springer 10.1007/s12665-015-5236-3

[img] Text
Environ Earth Sci.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

An accurate and efficient determination of the highly toxic Cr(VI) in solid materials is important to determine the total Cr(VI) inventory of contaminated sites and the Cr(VI) release potential from such sites into the environment. Most commonly, total Cr(VI) is extracted from solid materials following a hot alkaline extraction procedure (US EPA method 3060A) where a complete release of water-extractable and sparingly soluble Cr(VI) phase is achieved. This work presents an evaluation of matrix effects that may occur during the hot alkaline extraction and in the determination of the total Cr(VI) inventory of variably composed contaminated soils and industrial materials (cement, fly ash) and is compared to water-extractable Cr(VI) results. Method validation including multiple extractions and matrix spiking along with chemical and mineralogical characterization showed satisfying results for total Cr(VI) contents for most of the tested materials. However, unreliable results were obtained by applying method 3060A to anoxic soils due to the degradation of organic material and/or reactions with Fe2+-bearing mineral phases. In addition, in certain samples discrepant spike recoveries have to be also attributed to sample heterogeneity. Separation of possible extracted Cr(III) by applying cation-exchange cartridges prior to solution analysis further shows that under the hot alkaline extraction conditions only Cr(VI) is present in solution in measurable amounts, whereas Cr(III) gets precipitated as amorphous Cr(OH)3(am). It is concluded that prior to routine application of method 3060A to a new material type, spiking tests are recommended for the identification of matrix effects. In addition, the mass of extracted solid material should to be well adjusted to the heterogeneity of the Cr(VI) distribution in the material in question.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Weibel, Gisela; Waber, Niklaus; Eggenberger, Urs and Mäder, Urs


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Niklaus Waber

Date Deposited:

07 Jun 2016 09:49

Last Modified:

12 May 2021 13:31

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Cr(VI), Hot alkaline extraction, Matrix effects, DPC method, Cation-exchange cartridge, Soil, Cement, Fly ash




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback