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Water Res. 2009 Apr;43(7):2029-35. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.02.021. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Removal of phosphorus from solution using biogenic iron oxides.

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Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-2910, USA.


Phosphorus removal by biogenic iron oxides was investigated, providing an initial characterization of a potentially regenerable iron-rich sorbent. The biogenic iron oxides were collected from a wetland ecosystem and were dominated by the sheaths of Leptothrix ochracea. Sorption kinetics followed a pseudo-1st order model (R(2)=0.998) with a rate constant of 0.154+/-0.013h(-1). The Langmuir isotherm adequately described sorption for all samples (R(2)=0.923-0.981); the Freundlich model was a better fit for only one of four samples. Maximum phosphorus sorption estimated using the Langmuir parameter ranged from 46.9+/-2.9 to 165.0+/-21.2mgP/gFe and was similar to other iron-rich substrates. Maximum sorption normalized to total solids ranged from 10.8+/-0.7 to 39.9+/-3.2mgP/g, which represented the highest published values for iron-rich substrates. The high sorption capacity with respect to both iron and solids warrants further evaluation of biogenic iron oxides as a substrate for phosphorus removal.

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