Phosphorus sorption capacity of filter materials used for on-site wastewater treatment determined in batch experiments–a comparative study

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Received for publication April 25, 2008. Increasing numbers of filter materials have been proposed as suitable media for P removal in on-site wastewater treatment systems. The phosphorus sorption capacity (PSC) of the material can be estimated in batch experiments and is commonly used as the criterion for material selection. However, there is no standard procedure and batch experimental parameters are arbitrarily established, thus leading to difficulties in comparing the results. The main parameters affecting the batch adsorption system are the form and amount of material, material-to-solution ratio, nature, pH and initial concentration of P solution, contact time, agitation, and temperature. This paper critically reviews a number of relevant studies that used batch experiments to estimate the PSC of different filter materials. The nature and form of the materials vary significantly and there is broad variation in the batch experimental parameters set in the selected studies. Analysis of the data from selected studies showed a relationship between particle size or pH of the material and its PSC. The initial P concentration of the solution and the material-to-solution ratio in the batch system were found to be correlated with the estimated PSC, suggesting that batch parameters have a great influence on the results. Based on the analysis of the selected studies, the difficulties of using batch experiments are outlined, recommendations for batch experiment procedure are suggested and a classification system for filter materials according to their PSC and particle size is presented.

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