Zinc oxide (ZnO) was synthesized and used to investigate the mechanism of phosphate removal from aqueous solution. ZnO particles were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy before and after adsorption. Batch experiments were carried out to investigate the kinetics, isotherms, effects of initial pH and co-existing anions. The adsorption process was rapid and equilibrium was almost reached within 150 min. The adsorption kinetics were described well by a pseudo-second-order equation, and the maximum phosphate adsorption capacity was 163.4 mg/g at 298 K and pH ∼6.2 ± 0.1. Thermodynamic analysis indicated the phosphate adsorption onto ZnO was endothermic and spontaneous. The point of zero charge of ZnO was around 8.4 according to the pH-drift method. Phosphate adsorption capacity reduced with the increasing initial solution pH values. The ligand exchange and Lewis acid-base interaction dominated the adsorption process in the lower and the higher pH range, respectively. Nitrate, sulfate and chloride ions had a negligible effect on phosphate removal, while carbonate displayed significant inhibition behavior.
- zinc oxide
- First received 7 September 2014.
- Accepted in revised form 16 December 2014.
- © IWA Publishing 2015