Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 16, pp 15390–15403 | Cite as

Adsorptive removal of fluoride from water by granular zirconium–aluminum hybrid adsorbent: performance and mechanisms

  • Kun Wu
  • Yuanyuan Chen
  • Yongqiang Ouyang
  • Hang Lei
  • Ting Liu
Research Article


Granular zirconium–aluminum hybrid adsorbent (GZAHA) was fabricated for efficient defluoridation of groundwater in filter application. GZAHA was formed through the aggregation of massive Zr/Al oxide nanoparticles with an amorphous pattern. This adsorbent has a satisfactory mechanical strength, a specific surface area of 29.55 m2/g, and numerous hydroxyl groups on the surface. F adsorption equilibrium could be achieved within 12 h, and the sorption process followed a pseudo-second-order reaction rate. The maximum adsorption capacity of F estimated from the Langmuir model was 65.07 mg/g at 25 °C, being greater than most of other granular adsorbents. The removal efficiency of F could be maintained in a wide pH range of 5~9. The presence of phosphate posed an adverse effect on F adsorption due to the competition mechanisms. The saturated adsorbents could be regenerated and reused for four times by using sodium hydroxide solution as an eluent, and the adsorption capacity remained around 80%. Besides electrostatic attraction and Al–F complex, surface complexation and anion exchange were also involved in the adsorption process. Continuous adsorption experiments illustrated that 808 bed volumes of F-contaminated water (F = 5 mg/L) were treated successfully by a GZAHA-packed column without second pollution.


Fluoride Adsorption Aluminum oxide Zirconium oxide Granular adsorbent 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51578440/51208415), Science and Technology Overall Plan of Shaanxi Province (No. 2016KTCG01-17), Key Laboratory Project of Education Department of Shaanxi Province (Grant No. 14JS042), and Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (Grant No. 2013ZX07310-001).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1711_MOESM1_ESM.doc (5.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 5.37 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental and Municipal EngineeringXi’an University of Architecture and TechnologyXi’anChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and EnvironmentNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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