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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 3, p. 654-663
    Received: Feb 15, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): chad.penn@okstate.edu
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Phosphorus Removal with By-Products in a Flow-Through Setting

  1. Dustin Stoner,
  2. Chad Penn *,
  3. Joshua McGrath and
  4. Jason Warren
  1. Oklahoma State Univ., Dep. of Plant and Soil Sci., 367 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 47078-1020. Assigned to Associate Editor Wim Chardon


Phosphorus (P) losses to surface waters can result in eutrophication. Some industrial by-products have a strong affinity for dissolved P and may be useful in reducing nonpoint P pollution with landscape-scale runoff filters. Although appreciable research has been conducted on characterizing P sorption by industrial by-products via batch isotherms, less data are available on P sorption by these materials in a flow-through context integral to a landscape P filter. The objectives of this study were to evaluate several industrial by-products for P sorption in a flow-through setting, to determine material chemical properties that have the greatest impact on P sorption in a flow-through setting, and to explore how retention time (RT) and P concentration affect P removal. Twelve materials were characterized for chemical properties that typically influence P removal and subjected to flow-through P sorption experiments in which five different RTs and P concentrations were tested. The impact of RT and P concentrations on P removal varied based on material chemical properties, mainly as a function of oxalate-extractable aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), and water-soluble (WS) calcium (Ca). Statistical analysis showed that materials elevated in oxalate-extractable Al and Fe and WS Ca and that were highly buffered above pH 6 were able to remove the most P under flow-through conditions. Langmuir sorption maximum values from batch isotherms were poorly correlated with and overestimated P removal found under flow-through conditions. Within the conditions tested in this study, increases in RT and inflow P concentrations increased P removal among materials most likely to remove P via precipitation, whereas RT had little effect on materials likely to remove P via ligand exchange.

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