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Phosphorus removal by acid mine drainage sludge from secondary effluents of municipal wastewater treatment plants

Phosphorus removal by acid mine drainage sludge from secondary effluents of municipal wastewater treatment plants

Water Research 42(13): 3275-3284

Acid mine drainage (AMD) sludge, a waste product from coal mine water treatment, was used in this study as an adsorbent to develop a cost-effective treatment approach to phosphorus removal from municipal secondary effluents. Batch tests were carried out to study the effects of pH, temperature, concentration, and contact time for phosphorus removal from wastewater. Batch tests were followed by continuous flow tests using a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). Adsorption of orthophosphate onto AMD sludge particles followed the Freundlich isotherm model with an adsorption capacity ranging from 9.89 to 31.97 mg/g when the final effluent concentration increased from 0.21 to 13.61 mg P/L. P adsorption was found to be a rather rapid process and neutral or acidic pH enhanced phosphorus removal. Based on a thermodynamic assessment, P adsorption by AMD sludge was found to be endothermic; consequently, an increase in temperature could also favor phosphorus adsorption. Results from batch tests showed that leaching of metals common to AMD sludges was not likely to be a major issue of concern over the typical pH range (6-8) of secondary wastewater effluents. CSTR tests with three types of water (synthetic wastewater, river water, and municipal secondary effluent) illustrated that P adsorption by AMD sludge was relatively independent of the presence of other ionic species. In treating municipal secondary effluent, a phosphorus removal efficiency in excess of 98% was obtained. Results of this study indicated that it was very promising to utilize AMD sludge for phosphorus removal from secondary effluents and may be relevant to future efforts focused on the control of eutrophication in surface waters.

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Accession: 023356352

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PMID: 18490048

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2008.04.005

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