Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 389–400 | Cite as

Nanoscale materials as sorbents for nitrate and phosphate removal from water

  • T. K. M. Prashantha Kumar
  • Trivene R. Mandlimath
  • P. Sangeetha
  • S. K. Revathi
  • S. K. Ashok Kumar


Excessive nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) release into run-off waters from human activities is a major cause of eutrophication. Several techniques are available to remove N and P-containing pollutants, such as chemical precipitation, biological treatment, membrane processes, electrolytic treatment, ion-exchange and adsorption. In order to remove low concentration levels of nitrate and phosphate, adsorption is a cost-effective solution. In this review, we present a list of nanoscale adsorbents such as zero-valent metal, metal oxides/metal hydroxides, and carbon-based materials. We discuss their adsorption capacities, isotherms, kinetics and mechanisms.


Eutrophication Nanomaterials Nitrate Phosphate Composite materials 



Reverse osmosis


World health organization


US environmental protection agency


Environmental protection agency


Zero-valent iron


Ethylenediamine tetracetic acid




Lanthanum hydroxide-zeolite


Carbon cloth


Ordered mesoporous materials’


Santa Barbara amorphous


Graphene-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron


Carbon nanotube


Nano-hydrous zirconium oxide


Parts per million


Isoelectric point



Authors are thankful to the administration of VIT University, Vellore, India, for providing infrastructures to write this article and carry out other research.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, School of Advanced SciencesVIT UniversityVelloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryNandi Institute of Technology and Management SciencesBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryKPR Institute of Science and TechnologyArasur, CoimbatoreIndia

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