Removal of Phosphorus in Wastewater by Ca-Impregnated Activated Alumina

  • Kang, Seong Chul (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan) ;
  • Lee, Byoung Ho (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan)
  • Received : 2012.07.28
  • Accepted : 2012.11.15
  • Published : 2012.09.30


Phosphorus removal during discharge of wastewater is required to achieve in a very high level because eutrophication occurs even at a very low phosphorus concentration. However, there are limitations in the traditional technologies in the removal of phosphorus at very low concentration, such as at a level lower than 0.1 mg/L. Through a series of experiments, a possible technology which can remove phosphate to a very low level in the final effluent of wastewater was suggested. At first Al, Zn, Ca, Fe, and Mg were exposed to phosphate solution by impregnating them on the surface of activated alumina to select the material which has the highest affinity to phosphate. Kinetic tests and isotherm tests on phosphate solution have been performed on four media, which are Ca-impregnated activated alumina, activated alumina, Ca-impregnated loess ball, and loess ball. Results showed that Ca-impregnated activated alumina has the highest capacity to adsorb phosphate in water. Scanning electron microscope image analysis showed that activated alumina has high void volume, which provides a large surface area for phosphate to be adsorbed. Through a continuous column test of the Ca-impregnated activated alumina it was discovered that about 4,000 bed volumes of wastewater with about 0.2 mg/L of phosphate can be treated down to lower than 0.14 mg/L of concentration.



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