Abstract

This study compares and contrasts the glyphosate removal efficiency of alum sludge (waterworks residue) and Irish peat in aqueous solution. Organic phosphonate of glyphosate aqueous solution was removed in pot tests separately filled with peat and alum sludge, while effluent samples were taken from each pot to analyse the concentration of phosphorus (P) and COD (chemical oxygen demand); physical and chemical analysis for both media before and after use was carried out subsequently. The results show that the P removal capacity of alum sludge was significant (>99%), while the removal capacity of peat was considerably less than 10% after 10 weeks. Both materials significantly reduced the levels of COD, but it was noted that peat had a marginally greater initial P removal capacity (68 ± 22%) and did perform better than alum sludge (57 ± 12%). Moreover, pre-treatment is a crucial step to harness the full potential of peat. Overall, this study provides a scientific clue for sorbents selection when considering alum sludge and peat to maximize their value in practice.

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