Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 5, pp 2133–2142 | Cite as

Removal of phosphorus from water using scallop shell synthesized ceramic biomaterials

  • Nan ChenEmail author
  • Weiwu Hu
  • Chuanping FengEmail author
  • Zhenya Zhang
Original Article


This study describes the development of scallop shell synthesized ceramic biomaterial for phosphorus removal from water. The synthesized biomaterial was characterized by scanning electron microscope, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller and X-ray diffractometer methods. The influences of contact time, initial phosphate concentration, initial solution pH, co-existing ions and temperature for phosphorus removal were investigated by batch experiments. The results indicated that the equilibrium data can be fitted by the Langmuir isotherm model at temperatures ranging from 15 to 55 °C, with the maximum sorption capacity of 13.6 mg/g. Sorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic equation model. The sorption process was optimal at a wide range of solution pH (above 2.4), with a relatively high sorption capacity level. Phosphorus sorption was slightly impeded by the presence of F, HCO3 and NH4 + ions, and significantly inhibited by Cl, SO4 2− and NO3 ions. Sorption process appeared to be controlled by a chemical precipitation processes. The mechanism may be attributed to ion complexation during subsequent sorption of phosphorus on scallop shell synthesized ceramic biomaterial.


Scallop shell Phosphorus removal Ceramic biomaterial Isotherm modeling Sorption 



The authors thank “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (No. 2652013025), and the “National Natural Science Foundation” (No. 31140082) for financial support of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Groundwater Cycle and Environment EvolutionChina University of Geosciences, Ministry of EducationBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Water Resources and EnvironmentChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.The Journal CenterChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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