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Phosphorus adsorption on natural sediments with different pH incorporating surface morphology characterization

Abstract

Sediment samples from University Lake (U.L.) and Anacostia River (A.R.) were collected to study the phosphorus (P) adsorption with pH at 3.65, 4.75, and 5.65. The surface micro-morphology and pore structures of sediment particles were obtained using a scanning electron microscopy and gas adsorption method, respectively. Fourier analysis was then applied to approximate the surface morphology, which was incorporated into the Langmuir isotherm to directly derive the model parameters for P adsorption simulation. Meanwhile, an empirical function of pH was introduced to represent the pH effect on P adsorption. A stronger P adsorption was observed for the A.R. sediment due to the more clay minerals, smaller median diameter, and a greater percentage of large pores, and the increasing pH resulted in a decrease of adsorption equilibrium constant as well as the P adsorption capacity, which was well reproduced by the adsorption isotherms. This study would benefit the mechanism study of the interactions between sediment particles and pollutants, providing references for understanding the pollutants’ transport in aqueous systems.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    At pH 3.65, samples of 1.0 g dried sediments were loaded into a series of 30-mL phosphate solutions with the P concentrations of 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 10, 20, 25, and 30 mg/L.

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Acknowledgments

This research is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51139003 and No. 11372161). The authors wish to thank Dr. Fei Yan and Dr. Ariette Schierz for the sediment sampling and P adsorption experiment, and Prof. Zhi-Wu Yu for the improvement of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hongwei Fang.

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Responsible editor: Marcus Schulz

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Huang, L., Fang, H., He, G. et al. Phosphorus adsorption on natural sediments with different pH incorporating surface morphology characterization. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 18883–18891 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7093-3

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Keywords

  • Sediment particles
  • Phosphorus adsorption
  • Surface morphology
  • Pore structure
  • Langmuir isotherm