Evaluation of phosphate removal from aqueous solution using metal organic framework; isotherm, kinetic and thermodynamic study

  • Sajad Mazloomi
  • Mahmood Yousefi
  • Heshmatollah Nourmoradi
  • Mahmoud ShamsEmail author
Research Article



Phosphate (PO43−) is the main etiological factor of eutrophication in surface waters. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are novel hybrid materials with amazing structural properties that make them a prominent material for adsorption.


Zeolitic imidazolate framework 67 (ZIF-67), a water stable member of MOFs, with a truncated rhombic dodecahedron crystalline structure was synthesized in aqueous environment at room temperature and then characterized using XRD and SEM. PO43− adsorption from synthetic solutions using ZIF-67 in batch mode were evaluated and a polynomial model (R2: 0.99, R2adj: 0.98, LOF: 0.1433) developed using response surface methodology (RSM).


The highest PO43− removal (99.2%) after model optimization obtained when ZIF-67 dose, pH and mixing time adjusted to 6.82, 832.4 mg/L and 39.95 min, respectively. The optimum PO43− concentration in which highest PO43− removal and lowest adsorbent utilization occurs, observed at 30 mg/L. PO43− removal eclipsed significantly in the presence of carbonate. The equilibrium and kinetic models showed that PO43− adsorbed in monolayer (qmax: 92.43 mg/g) and the sorption process controlled in the sorption stage. Adsorption was also more favorable at higher PO43− concentration, according to the separation factor (KR) graph. Thermodynamic parameters (minus signs of ∆G°, ∆H° of 0.179 KJ/mol and ∆S° of 44.91 KJ/mol.K) demonstrate the spontaneous, endothermic and physisorption nature of the process.


High adsorption capacity and adsorption rates, make ZIF-67 a promising adsorbent for PO43− removal from aqueous environment.


Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) ZIF-67 Adsorption Phosphate RSM Thermodynamic 



The authors would like to appreciate the financial support provided by Ilam University of Medical Science, Iran (Grant Number: 974001-14).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of this article declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sajad Mazloomi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahmood Yousefi
    • 3
  • Heshmatollah Nourmoradi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahmoud Shams
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  2. 2.Biotechnology and Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of MedicineIlam University of Medical SciencesIlamIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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