We compared the adsorption efficiency of phosphates onto Ca-alginate immobilized yeast and freely suspended yeast under different conditions of pH and temperature. The results clearly demonstrated that the adsorption efficiency onto Ca-alginate immobilized yeast was better than that of freely suspended yeast, and reached a maximum at pH 9.17 and 35 °C. Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the morphology of Ca-alginate immobilized yeast. Fitting the adsorption equilibrium data to existing models showed that the Freundlich isotherm model described the process better than the Langmuir model, and the process of adsorption followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. During the initial period of experiment, external diffusion was a key rate-controlling step, and intraparticle diffusion also contributed to the mass transport. The thermodynamic properties (Gibbs free energy change of −15.143 kJ/mol, enthalpy change of 274.118 kJ/mol, and entropy change of 290 J/(mol K)) indicated that the adsorption process was endothermic.

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