Aquatic environment

Evaluation of phosphorus removal from wastewater by soilsin rural areas in China

Hanwen Liang , Junxin Liu , Yuansong Wei , Xuesong Guo


Received March 12, 2009,Revised April 22, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 22,2010,Pages 15-22

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Low-cost, easy-maintenance and high-e ciency decentralized wastewater treatment technologies are urgently needed in rural areas of China. Processes with high potential for phosphorus removal are of great interest. However, commonly used treatment methods often do not meet the strict criteria for removing phosphorus from rural wastewater. In order to search an economic and simple technology for phosphorus removal from the common bio-technologies e uent, seven soil types collected from di erent rural areas in China were investigated for their ability to remove phosphorus. X-ray di raction (XRD) was used to analyse the mineral structure, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) was used to analyse the geochemical composition of the soil samples. Three primary minerals – quartz, albite and montmorillonite – were clearly detected. The samples were divided into two soil types, acidic soils and alkaline soils, based on their pH values. The geochemical composition study indicated that a higher percentage of Ca and Mg occurred in alkaline soils (pH > 8) than in acidic soils (pH < 6.5). Adsorption isotherms from batch experiments fitted the Langmuir and Freundlich models well, the maximum P adsorption capacities ranged from 0.256 to 1.598 mg P/g, indicating a high phosphorus removal potential for all of these soils. The P fractions extracted revealed that the sum of NaOH-extracted inorganic P (NaOH-Pi) was the major P component in the acidic soils, and CaCO3-bound phosphorus (Ca-P) in the alkaline soils. Dynamic adsorption simulation showed that these soils have the ability to remove phosphorus from wastewater.

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