A method of reducing the concentration of Cr(VI) in a liquid aqueous residue comprises the steps of providing anaerobic Cr(VI) reducing bacteria, mixing the liquid aqueous residue with a nutrient medium to form a mixture, and contacting the mixture with the anaerobic Cr(VI) reducing bacteria such that Cr(VI) is reduced to Cr(III). The anaerobic Cr(VI) reducing bacteria appear to be ubiquitous in soil and can be selected by collecting a soil sample, diluting the soil sample with a sterile diluent to form a diluted sample, mixing the diluted sample with an effective amount of a nutrient medium and an effective amount of Cr(VI) to form a mixture, and incubating the mixture in the substantial absence of oxygen such that growth of Cr(VI) sensitive microorganisms is inhibited and growth of the anaerobic Cr(VI) reducing bacteria is stimulated. A method of in situ bioremediation of Cr(VI) contaminated soil and/or groundwater is also disclosed.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under Contract Number DE-AC07-76ID01570 between the U.S. Department of Energy and EG&G Idaho, Inc., now Contract Number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.