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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 125296, 11 pages
Research Article

Phosphorus Removal from Wastewater Using Oven-Dried Alum Sludge

Chemical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

Received 24 January 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012

Academic Editor: See-Jo Kim

Copyright © 2012 Wadood T. Mohammed and Sarmad A. Rashid. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study deals with the removal of phosphorus from wastewater by using oven-dried alum sludge (ODS) as adsorbent that was collected from Al-Qadisiya treatment plant (Iraq); it was heated in an oven at 1 0 5 ∘ C for 24 h and then cooled at room temperature. The sludge particles were then crushed to produce a particle size of 0.5–4.75 mm. Two modes of operation are used, batch mode and fixed bed mode, in batch experiment the effect of oven-dried alum sludge doses 10–50 g/L, pH of solution 5–8 with constant initial phosphorus concentration of 5 mg/L, and constant particle size of 0.5 mm were studied. The results showed that the percent removal of phosphorus increases with the increase of oven-dried alum sludge dose, but pH of solution has insignificant effect. Batch kinetics experiments showed that equilibrium time was about 6 days. Adsorption capacity was plotted against equilibrium concentration, and isotherm models (Freundlich, Langmuir, and Freundlich-Langmuir) were used to correlate these results. In the fixed bed isothermal adsorption column, the effect of initial phosphorus concentration ( 𝐢 π‘œ ) 5 and 10 mg/L, particle size 2.36 and 4.75 mm, influent flow rate (Q) 6 and 10 L/hr, and bed depth (H) 0.15–0.415 m were studied. The results showed that the oven-dried alum sludge was effective in adsorbing phosphorus, and percent removal of phosphorus reaches 85% with increasing of contact time and adsorbent surface area (i.e., mass of adsorbent 50 g/L with different pH).