Bench scale transport and biotransformation experiments and mathematical model simulations were carried out to study the effectiveness of bio-barriers for the containment of hexavalent chromium in contaminated confined aquifers. Experimental results showed that a 10 cm thick bio-barrier with an initial biomass concentration of 0.205 mg/g of soil was able to completely contain a Cr(VI) plume of 25 mg/L concentration. It was also observed that pore water velocity and initial biomass concentration are the most significant parameters in the containment of Cr(VI). The mathematical model developed is based on one-dimensional advection-dispersion reaction equations for Cr(VI) and molasses in saturated, homogeneous porous medium. The transport of Cr(VI) and molasses is coupled with adsorption and Monod's inhibition kinetics for immobile bacteria. It was found that, in general, the model was able to simulate the experimental results satisfactorily. However, there was disparity between the numerically simulated and experimental breakthrough curves for Cr(VI) and molasses in cases where there was high clay content and high microbial activity. The mathematical model could contribute towards improved designs of future bio-barriers for the remediation of Cr(VI) contaminated aquifers. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.