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Fixed-bed column studies of phosphonate and phosphate adsorption on granular ferric hydroxide (GFH)

Reinhardt, T., Rott, E., Schneider, P.A., Minke, R. and Schönberger, H. (2021) Fixed-bed column studies of phosphonate and phosphate adsorption on granular ferric hydroxide (GFH). Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 153 . pp. 301-310.

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The use of phosphonates as antiscalants in membrane processes is common. Before they are discharged into the receiving water, they should be removed from the membrane concentrate to protect the aquatic environment. This study conducted fixed-bed column experiments on the adsorption of diethylenetriaminepenta(methylene phosphonic acid) (DTPMP) and ortho-phosphate on granular ferric (hydr)oxide (GFH). The objective was to investigate the adsorption and desorption performance using real membrane concentrate, while testing both the usability of the GFH and that of the regeneration solutions over multiple cycles. Whereas a synthetic solution with DTPMP allowed almost complete regeneration, the adsorption performance with real membrane concentrate at the original pH 8 decreased significantly. This could be attributed to the precipitation of calcium compounds which disturbed the adsorption/desorption process. With the introduction of a novel acidic regeneration step to remove the precipitates, an adsorption performance of 95% over 20 cycles was achieved. The hydrochloric acid (HCl) can be reused when its pH is kept constant by a pH control. The sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) for alkaline regeneration can be reused several times. However, the desorption performance decreased significantly when its electrical conductivity dropped below 90 mS/cm. Replacing the NaOH regularly can significantly improve the desorption performance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2021 Institution of Chemical Engineers.
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