Main content area

Removal of phosphate from aqueous solution by dolomite-modified biochar derived from urban dewatered sewage sludge

Li, Jing, Li, Bing, Huang, Haiming, Lv, Xiaomei, Zhao, Ning, Guo, Guojun, Zhang, Dingding
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.687 pp. 460-469
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, acetates, adsorbents, adsorption, aqueous solutions, bicarbonates, biochar, calcium, dolomite, economic analysis, electrostatic interactions, endothermy, eutrophication, magnesium, models, pH, phosphates, phosphorus, scanning electron microscopy, sewage sludge, sorption isotherms, sulfates, temperature
Excessive phosphorus emission is mainly responsible for eutrophication. Recently, the application of modified biochars for phosphorus removal from aqueous solution has set off a boom. In the present study, a novel modified biochar was developed, from urban sewage sludge by decorating dolomite according to the dried mass ratio of sludge to dolomite being 1:1. The experimental results showed that the adsorption process preferred lower pH, with the biochar under investigation exhibiting high phosphate removal efficiency of 96.8% at the adsorbent dosage of 2.6 g/L and the initial solution pH of 4.5. Moreover, for the tested biochar, the phosphate removal kinetics data at different temperatures were all well fitted by the pseudo-second-order model, thereby establishing the endothermic nature of the adsorption process. Furthermore, the phosphate removal data upon being well fitted by the Langmuir model showed the maximal removal capacity of 29.18 mg/g. Further, for determining the mechanism involved in the removal process, SEM, XRD, and FTIR analysis were carried out, which in turn revealed that the phosphate combines with the biochar via electrostatic attraction, thereby forming a new outer-sphere surface complex and inner-sphere surface complex in the acidic condition. Additionally, the calcium and magnesium precipitation of phosphate may contribute to the removal of phosphate in the adsorption process. The presence of SO42−, HCO3−, and C5H7O5COO− could negatively affect the removal of phosphate, while CH3COO− had a positive effect on the adsorption of phosphate on the biochar. Thus, an economic assessment showed that the proposed adsorption process had a commercial attraction.