Removal of phosphorus from wastewaters by biomass ashes

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Removal batch assays of phosphates from a synthetic wastewater (SWW) and a pulp and paper mill wastewater (PPWW) with two forestry biomass ashes were performed. The supernatants were not only chemically characterized but also the ecotoxicity was determined using two organisms: Vibrio fischeri and Artemia franciscana. The addition of fly ash and bottom ash to the SWW in solid/liquid (S/L) ratios of 3.35 and 9.05 g L−1, respectively, achieved removal percentages of phosphates >97% for both ashes. The addition of fly ash and bottom ash to the PPWW in S/L ratios of 34.45 and 46.59 g L−1, respectively, yield removal percentages of phosphates >90% for both ashes. According to the results of the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, the removal of phosphates from the SWW was mainly explained by surface removal mechanisms, while the removal from the PPWW was partially explained by multi-layer mechanisms. The supernatants resulting from the treatment of SWW and PPWW with both biomass ashes did not present acute ecotoxicity.

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