Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

High removal of phosphate from wastewater using silica sulfate

  • W. Jutidamrongphan
  • K. Y. ParkEmail author
  • S. Dockko
  • J. W. Choi
  • S. H. Lee
Original Paper


This report shows that silica sulfate is removing phosphate from wastewater very efficiently. Phosphorus removal and recovery from wastewater is a worldwide issue due to pollution of natural waters by phosphate and depletion of phosphate ores. Adsorption is a process that can remove phosphate at low concentrations. Adsorption also allows the recovery of phosphate for possible re-use. Here, we studied the adsorption of phosphate from wastewater using commercial Zr ferrite, Zr-MCM 41 and silica sulfate. We calculated equilibrium isotherms, kinetic models and thermodynamic effects under conditions similar to real wastewaters. We found that the equilibrium data for the adsorption of phosphate were best fitted to the Freundlich model. The results show that the maximum uptake of phosphate was 3.36 mg g−1 for Zr-MCM, 27.73 mg g−1 for Zr ferrite and 46.32 mg g−1 for silica sulfate. The kinetic results of the three adsorbents were satisfactorily predicted using a pseudo-second-order model. We found that silica sulfate provided excellent characteristics in terms of the maximum adsorption and rate constant for the adsorption of phosphate. The thermodynamic data showed that increasing the temperature enhanced the adsorption of phosphate onto silica sulfate. Our findings will help to define efficient methods to remove phosphate from wastewater.


Equilibrium isotherm Kinetic adsorption Phosphate, Silica sulfate, Zr-MCM 41 Zr ferrite 



This study was granted by project No 071-091-137 from the Next-generation Core Environmental Technology Development Project of the Korean Ministry of the Environment.


  1. Ali I, Gupta VK (2007) Advances in water treatment by adsorption technology. Nat Protoc 1:2661–2667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Public Health Association (APHA) (2005) Standard method for the examination of water and wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. Chitrakar R, Tezuka S, Sonoda A, Sakane K, Ooi K, Hirotsu T (2006) Selective adsorption of phosphate from seawater and wastewater by amorphous zirconium hydroxide. J Colloid Interface Sci 297:426–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davis ME (2002) Ordered porous materials for emerging applications. Nature 417:813–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deliyanni EA, Peleka EN, Lazaridis NK (2007) Comparative study of phosphates removal from aqueous solutions by nanocrystalline akaganeite and hybrid surfactant-akaganeite. Sep Purif Technol 52:478–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Driver J, Lijmbach D, Steen I (1999) Why recover phosphorus for recycling, and how? Environ Technol 20:651–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eberhardt TL, Min SH, Han JS (2006) Phosphate removal by refined aspen wood fiber treated with carboxymethyl cellulose and ferrous chloride. Bioresour Technol 97:2371–2376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ebie Y, Kondo T, Kadoya N, Mouri M, Maruyama O, Noritake S, Inamori Y, Xu K (2008) Recovery oriented phosphorous adsorption process in decentralized advanced Johkasou. Water Sci Technol 57:1977–1981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Falcaro P, Grosso D, Amenitsch H, Innocenzi P (2004) Silica orthorhombic mesostructured films with low refractive index and high thermal stability. J Phys Chem B108:10942–10948Google Scholar
  10. Gupta VK, Carrott PJM, Carrot MMLR, Suhas (2009) Low cost adsorbents: growing approach to wastewater treatment—a review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 39:783–842Google Scholar
  11. Ito D, Nishimura K, Miura O (2009) Removal and recycle of phosphate from treated water of sewage plants with zirconium ferrite adsorbent by high gradient magnetic separation. J Phys Conf Ser 156:012033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Iwamoto M, Kitagawa H, Watanabe Y (2002) Highly effective removal of arsenate and arsenite ion through anion exchange on zirconium sulfate-surfactant micelle mesostructure. Chem Lett 31:814–815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kresge CT, Leonowicz ME, Roth WJ, Vartuli JC, Beck JS (1992) Ordered mesoporous molecular sieves synthesized by a liquid-crystal template mechanism. Nature 359:710–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuzawa K, Jung YJ, Kiso Y, Yamada T, Nagai M, Lee TG (2006) Phosphate removal and recovery with synthetic hydrotalcite as an adsorbent. Chemosphere 62:45–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee SH, Lee BC, Lee KW, Lee SH, Choi YS, Park KY, Iwamoto M (2007) Phosphorus recovery by mesoporous structure material from wastewater. Water Sci Technol 55:169–176Google Scholar
  16. Li L, Yu S, Liu F, Yang J, Zhaug S (2005) Reactions of turpentine using Zr-MCM-41 family mesoporous molecular Sieves. Catal Lett 100:227–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li Y, Liu C, Luan Z, Peng Z, Zhu C, Chen Z, Zhang Z, Fan J, Jia Z (2006) Phosphate removal from aqueous solutions using raw and activated red mud and fly ash. J Hazard Mater B137:374–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu H, Sun X, Yin C, Hu C (2008a) Removal of phosphate by mesoporous ZrO2. J Hazard Mater 151:616–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu Y, Villalba G, Ayres RU, Schrode H (2008b) Global phosphorus flows and environmental impacts from a consumption perspective. J Ind Ecol 12:229–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mezenner NY, Bensmaili A (2009) Kinetics and thermodynamic study of phosphate adsorption on iron hydroxide-eggshell waste. Chem Eng J 147:87–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mustafa S, Zaman MI, Khan S (2008) Temperature effect on the mechanism of phosphate anions sorption by β-MnO2. Chem Eng J 141:51–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Naidich YV (2000) Wettability of halides with molten metals. Physico-chemical and practical aspects. Powder Metall Met C+ 39:355–362Google Scholar
  23. Park KY, Song JH, Lee SH, Kim HS (2010) Utilization of a selective adsorbent for phosphorus removal from wastewaters. Environ Eng Sci 27:805–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Peleka EN, Deliyanni EA (2009) Adsorption removal of phosphates from aqueous solutions. Desalination 245:357–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Salas P, Chen LF, Wang JA, Armendariz H, Guzman ML, Montoya JA, Acosta DR (2005) Thermal stability and surface acidity of mesoporous silica doubly doped by incorporation of sulfate and zirconium ions. Appl Surf Sci 252:1123–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Song CE, Lee SG (2002) Supported chiral catalysts on inorganic materials. Chem Rev 102:3495–3524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stein A (2003) Advances in microporous and mesoporous solids—highlights of recent progress. Adv Mater 15:763–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tanaka H, Watanabe Y, Iwamoto M (2004) Zirconium sulfate-surfactant micelle mesostructure and an effective removal of selenite ion. Chem Lett 33:62–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tian S, Jiang P, Ning P, Su Y (2009) Enhanced adsorption removal of phosphate from water by mixed lanthanum/aluminum pillared montmorillonite. Chem Eng J 151:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. United States Geological Survey (USGS) (1997) Phosphate rock, mineral commodity summaries. US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, USA, pp 124–125Google Scholar
  31. Urano K, Tachikawa H (1991) Process development for removal and recovery of phosphorous from wastewater by a new adsorbent. Ind Eng Chem Res 30:1893–1896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1987) Design manual phosphorous removal. EPA625187001, Office of water program operations, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  33. Yan LG, Xu YY, Yu HQ, Xin XD, Wei Q, Du B (2010) Adsorption of phosphorus from aqueous solution by hydroxy-aluminum, hydroxy-iron and hydroxy-iron–aluminum pillared bentonites. J Hazard Mater 179:244–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ye H, Chen, Sheng Y, Sheng G, Fu J (2006) Adsorption of phosphate from aqueous solution onto modified palygorskites. Sep Purif Technol 50:283–290Google Scholar
  35. Zeng L, Li X, Liu J (2004) Adsorption removal of phosphate from aqueous solutions using iron oxide tailings. Water Res 38:1318–1326CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Jutidamrongphan
    • 1
  • K. Y. Park
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Dockko
    • 2
  • J. W. Choi
    • 3
  • S. H. Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental System EngineeringKonkuk UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringDankook UniversityCheonanKorea
  3. 3.Center for Environmental Technology ResearchKorea Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations