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Effect of temperature on phosphorus sorption to sediments from shallow eutrophic lakes

Huang, Lidong, Fu, Lili, Jin, Chongwei, Gielen, Gerty, Lin, Xianyong, Wang, Hailong, Zhang, Yongsong
Ecological engineering 2011 v.37 no.10 pp. 1515-1522
activation energy, aluminum, desorption, eutrophication, fractionation, heat, iron, lakes, models, phosphorus, sediments, sorption isotherms, temperature
The availability of phosphorus (P) in lakes is dependent on the sorption characteristics of the underlying sediments. Temperature is a crucial factor affecting the P sorption in sediments. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature on sorption of P by sediments from two eutrophic lakes. The study was carried out using short-term batch experiments at 4, 20 and 30°C. Phosphorus sorption kinetics, isotherms, fractionation and desorption were investigated. The P sorption was dependent on sediment type and temperature (p<0.001). The Mei sediments showed a higher sorption rate and sorption capacity than Hua sediments. The P sorption kinetics were best described by a pseudo second order model (R²>0.97). Activation energies derived from the kinetics rate constant indicated that P sorption onto the two sediments was controlled by a diffusion process. For both sediments, Freundlich model fit the P sorption isotherms well and the calculated apparent sorption heat was 6.37kJmol⁻¹ for Mei sediments and 8.67kJmol⁻¹ for Hua sediments. This indicated that P sorption onto both sediments was endothermic. Adding P significantly increased the soluble and loosely bound P (S/L–P), aluminum-bound P (Al–P) and iron-bound P (Fe–P) (p<0.05). The amount of Al–P and Fe–P was markedly higher at 30°C than at 4°C (p<0.05). Subsequent P desorption indicated that adsorbed P was highly labile, in particular for Hua sediment. The degree of P mobility that occurred during sediment sorption was inversely related to the temperature at the time of sorption. A significant relationship (R²=0.978) between phosphorus sorption maximum and oxalate-extractable Fe and Al at different temperatures reflects that the amorphous contents of Fe and Al are responsible for the temperature effect on P sorption.