Adsorption of phosphorus by using magnetic Mg–Al-, Zn–Al- and Mg–Fe-layered double hydroxides: comparison studies and adsorption mechanism

  • Tianchen Sheng
  • Zhen Zhang
  • Yuncheng Hu
  • Yuetong Tao
  • Jiayi Zhang
  • Zijun Shen
  • Jingwei FengEmail author
  • Aiyong Zhang
Research Article


Mg–Al, Zn–Al and Mg–Fe magnetic layered double hydroxide (LDH) adsorbents were synthesized. The adsorption effect and influencing factors of these adsorbents were explored, and the adsorption mechanism of phosphorus was studied with advanced instruments. The results showed that the best adsorption performance was observed when the molar ratio of metals was 3 for the magnetic LDH adsorbents, and the maximum adsorption amount for phosphorus was 74.8, 80.8 and 67.8 mg/g for Mg–Al, Zn–Al and Mg–Fe LDHs, respectively. Pseudo-second-order kinetics could be used to describe the adsorption process of phosphorus onto the magnetic LDHs. The adsorption of phosphorus onto the magnetic LDHs was an exothermic process. Lower temperatures were favourable for adsorption, and the adsorption of phosphorus onto the magnetic LDHs was a spontaneous process. When the solid–liquid ratios were 0.10 g/L, 0.10 g/L and 0.05 g/L for Mg–Al, Zn–Al and Mg–Fe magnetic LDHs, respectively, the highest adsorption amount of phosphorus was achieved for each magnetic LDH. The maximum adsorption amount was observed at pH values of 6.0–8.0. The inhibitory effect of HCO3 on the adsorption capacity of phosphorus onto the magnetic LDHs was the strongest at a higher HCO3 concentration level. The relative content of –OH significantly reduced after adsorption of phosphorus by the FTIR analysis, which indicated that the mechanism of phosphorus removal was mainly through the exchange between hydroxyl on the adsorbent surface and phosphorus in water. XPS studies showed that oxygen provided electrons during the adsorption of phosphorus.


Magnetic layered double hydroxides Phosphorus Adsorption kinetics Adsorption thermodynamics Adsorption mechanisms 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51208163, 21876040), the Undergraduate innovation and entrepreneurship training project (2016CXCYS047), the Open Project of Nanjing University & Yancheng Academy of Environmental Protection Technology and Engineering (NDYCKF201707) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (JZ2016HGPA0733).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Municipal Engineering, School of Civil and Hydraulic EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiChina
  2. 2.Nanjing University & Yancheng Academy of Environmental Protection Technology and EngineeringYanchengChina

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