عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for all forms of life on the earth, but in excess concentrations, it can act as a serious water pollutant through eutrophication. Thus, it is very important to remove P from aqueous solutions before their release into natural water resources. Among the various P removal techniques that have been developed, the sorption process is widely accepted to be an effective water treatment technique because of low cost, ease of operation, simplicity of design, and high sorption capacity in dilute solutions. Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) are a type of two-dimensional nanostructure anionic clays with high capacities to sorption of anions. These non-silicate clays consist of positively charged brucite-like octahedral sheets which neutralize by a negatively charged interlayer containing relatively weak bonded anions and water molecules. The positive charges generated by the isomorphous substitution of trivalent cations for divalent cations are balanced by interlayer anions that can be exchanged by other anions making them good anion-exchangers with high selectivity. LDHs have been widely used as environmental sorbents because of their high charge density, large interlayer areas, good thermal stability, and high anion exchange capacities of the interlayer anions. The aim of the present study was to synthesize a Mg-Fe LDH as a sorbent for P removal from aqueous solution.
Materials and Methods The Mg-Fe LDH was synthesized using the co-precipitation method. In brief, a mixture solution containing 0.03 mol MgCl2. 6H2O, and 0.01 mol FeCl3. 6H2O was added dropwise into a flask containing 100 ml of 1 M NaOH solution under vigorous stirring at pH=10. The obtained slurry was filtered and washed repeatedly with DW until the filtrate pH reached neutral. Mg-Fe LDH particles were then obtained by drying the filtrate at 70 °C in an oven overnight. The crystallinity of the sample was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. In order to investigate the performance of the synthesized LDH as a P sorbent, batch experiments were carried out in polyethylene centrifuge tubes. The suspensions were shaken for 24 hours at 250 rpm, and the supernatant was then separated by centrifugation at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes and were filtered by Whatman ashless grade 42 filtration papers. Equilibrium P concentration was determined according to the ascorbic acid method using UV-vis spectrophotometer at the wavelength of 880 nm. The effects of pH, initial P concentration, and contact time on P sorption were investigated in the ranges of 2-10, 0-300 mg/L and 0-1440 min, respectively.
Results and Discussion The XRD pattern of the LDH sample showed typical structure of hydrotalcite-like compounds with sharp and reflection peaks corresponding to the (003), (006), (012), (015), and (110) crystal planes which are characteristic planes of hydrotalcite-like compounds. The efficiency of LDH to remove P decreased with the increasing of initial P concentration and the maximum removal efficiency of LDH occurred in the range of 5-20 mg/L of initial P concentration. With increasing of initial P concentration from 20 to 300 mg/L, the P removal efficiency of LDH decreased from 98.7 to 24.6 %. The P removal efficiency was increased with time and reached equilibrium at 60 min. The P removal rate of LDH in this time was about 66 % and no significant decrease in residual P concentration was observed after 60 min. The sorption of P on LDH was highly pH dependent, and the maximum P removal was found at pH of 4. The sorption kinetic and isotherm data were well described by pseudo-second-order and Langmuir equations, respectively. According to the Langmuir equation, the maximum P sorption capacity (Qmax) of LDH was obtained as 13.96 mg/g.
Conclusion It was found from the results of this study that the mechanisms involved in the P sorption onto LDH included electrostatic attraction, ligand exchange, and surface complex formation. In addition, the results suggested that the synthesized Mg-Fe LDH can be potentially used as an effective sorbent for the removal of P from aqueous solutions. Further research is needed on the regeneration of the LDH after P sorption and the evaluation of desorption behavior of P from LDH under different conditions.