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Removal of Phosphate from Aqueous Solution Using Alginate/Iron (III) Chloride Capsules: a Laboratory Study

Siwek, Hanna, Bartkowiak, Artur, Włodarczyk, Małgorzata, Sobecka, Katarzyna
Water, air, and soil pollution 2016 v.227 no.11 pp. 427
adsorbents, adsorption, aqueous solutions, batch systems, desorption, equations, gelation, hydrocolloids, ions, iron, iron phosphates, laboratory experimentation, models, pH, phosphorus, remediation, sodium alginate, sorption isotherms, temperature, water pollution
Binding phosphate at participation of alginate/FeCl₃ capsules was studied with laboratory experiments. The hydrogel microcapsules were obtained with the dropping-in method, by gelation of sodium alginate water solution by iron (III) chloride solution. Phosphate adsorption characteristics were studied in a static batch system with respect to changes in contact time, initial phosphates concentration, pH of solution, and temperature. After 24 h of the tests, average 87.5% of phosphate ions were removed from the natural water solutions; after 48 h, an equilibrium was reached. The adsorption data were well fit by the Freundlich isotherm model. Parameter k of the isotherms amounted from 43.4 to 104.7, whereas parameter n amounted from 0.362 to 0.476. The course of processes of phosphate adsorption and iron desorption to aquatic phase, as well as changes in pH, suggests that phosphate adsorption is a major mechanism of phosphate removal, whereas simultaneously, but at a much lower degree, a process of precipitation of phosphate by iron (III) ions released from the capsules to the solution takes its place. Parameters calculated in the Freundlich isotherm equation show that by using several times smaller amounts of iron, it is possible to remove similar or bigger amounts of phosphorus than with other adsorbents containing iron. The alginate/FeCl₃ adsorbent removes phosphate in a wide pH spectrum—from 4 to 10. Results suggest that the proposed adsorbent has potential in remediation of contaminated waters by phosphate.