Abstract

This study proposes a technology conceived based on an integrative approach that aims to promote phosphorus recovery and to recycle ferric water treatment sludge (FWTS), using it as a phosphorus adsorbent which may be applied as a soil ameliorant after reaching saturation. The assessed pilot plant operated with a daily influent flow of 360 litres and presented a removal efficiency of 94.4% ± 3.2% for chemical oxygen demand (COD) and of 91.2% ± 7.8% for suspended solids. It also presented promising results for phosphorus removal. The maximum efficiency of dissolved reactive phosphorus removal was 95% on the first day and it decreased until reaching adsorbent saturation. The estimated breakthrough time was one year in the condition in which the filling medium of a second constructed wetland was only FWTS. In this situation, the effluent phosphorus concentration was 0.2 mg·L−1. The authors concluded that the application of FWTS in a constructed wetland bed is an interesting alternative. Batch adsorption experiments were run using phosphorus stock solution. Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models were obtained for different initial pH values. The maximum adsorption capacity decreased as the initial pH was increased; values ranged from 4.76 mg P·g−1 (pH = 3.9) to 1.44 mg P·g−1 (pH = 9.0).

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