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Phosphate recovery from aqueous solution by K-zeolite synthesized from fly ash for subsequent valorisation as slow release fertilizer

AuthorsHermassi, Mehrez; Valderrama, César; Font, Oriol ; Moreno, Natalia ; Querol, Xavier ; Batis, Narjès Harrouch; Cortina, José Luis
KeywordsPotassium zeolite
Fly ash
Phosphate recover
Treated wastewater
Issue Date26-Apr-2020
CitationScience of the Total Environment 139002 (2020)
AbstractThe sorption of phosphate by K-zeolites synthesized from fly ash (FA) by hydrothermal conversion is investigated in this study. The aim is the synthesis of Ca bearing K-zeolites to recover phosphate from urban and industrial wastewater effluents. The loaded zeolites are considered as a by-products rich in essential nutrients such K and P (KP1) with a potential use as slow release fertilizer. A number of synthesis conditions (temperature, KOH-solution/FA ratio, KOH concentration, and activation time) were applied on two FA samples (FA-TE and FA-LB) with similar glass content but different content of crystalline phases, to optimize the synthesis of a zeolitic sorbent suitable for the subsequent phosphate uptake. Merlinoite and W rich zeolitic products synthesized from FA-LB and FA-TE were found to have sorption properties for phosphate removal. A maximum phosphate sorption capacity of 250 mgP-PO4/g and 142 mgP-PO4/g for the zeolitic products selected (KP1-LB and KP1-TE, respectively) was achieved. The dominant phosphate sorption mechanism, in the pH range (6–9) of treated wastewater effluents, indicated that sorption proceeds via a diffusion-controlled process involving phosphate ions coupled with calcium supply dissolution from K-zeolitic products and subsequent formation of brushite (CaHPO4 2H2O(s)). The phosphate loaded sorbent containing a relatively soluble phosphate mineral is appropriate for its use as a synthetic slow release fertilizer. The simultaneous valorisation of fly ash waste and the P recovery from treated wastewaters effluents, (a nutrient with scarce natural resources and low supply) by obtaining a product with high potential for land restoration and agriculture will contribute to develop one example of circularity.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139002
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