Phosphate Removal and Recovery Using Iron Nanoparticles and Iron Cross-Linked Biopolymer
Almeelbi, Talal Bakheet
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Nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) particles and iron cross-linked alginate (FCA) beads were successfully used for the first time for phosphate removal and recovery. NZVI was successfully used for phosphate removal and recovery. Batch studies indicated a removal of ~96 to 100% phosphate in 30 min (1, 5, and 10 mg PO43--P/L with 400 mg NZVI/L). Phosphate removal efficiency by NZVI was 13.9 times higher compared to Microscale ZVI (MZVI) particles. The successful rapid removal of phosphate by NZVI from aqueous solution is expected to have great ramification for cleaning up nutrient rich waters. The presence of sulfate, nitrate, and humic substances and the change in ionic strength in the water marginally affected phosphate removal by NZVI. A maximum phosphate recovery of ~78% was achieved in 30 min at pH 12. Novel iron cross-linked alginate (FCA) beads were synthesized, characterized and used for phosphate removal. The beads removed up to 37-100% phosphate from aqueous solution in 24 h. Freundlich isotherm was found to most closely fit with experimental data and the maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 14.77 mg/g of dry beads. The presence of chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate, nitrate, and natural organic matters in aqueous solution did not interfere in phosphate removal by FCA beads. The phosphate removal efficacy FCA beads was not affected due to change in pH (4-9). Nanosacle zero-valent iron (NZVI) and iron cross-linked alginate beads were also tested for phosphate removal using actual wastewater treatment plant effluent and animal feedlot runoff. The FCA beads could remove ~63% and ~77% phosphate from wastewater and feedlot runoff in 15 min, respectively. Bioavailability of phosphate was examined using algae and higher plants. Phosphate and iron bioavailability of the NZVI sorbed phosphate was examined by supplying spent particles (NZVI with sorbed phosphate) to Tyee Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and algae (Selenastrum capricornutum). Results revealed that the phosphate was bioavailable for both the algae and spinach. Also, presence of the nanoparticles enhanced the algae growth and plant growth and increases in biomass and plant length were observed. Iron (from spent NZVI) was found to be bioavailable for spinach.