Phosphate is considered the main cause of eutrophication and has received considerable attention recently. Several methods have been used to control the level of phosphate in water such as biological treatment, membrane filtration processes, ion exchange, chemical precipitation, and adsorption. Adsorption technology is highly effective in the removal of phosphate from wastewater even at low phosphate concentrations. Nanomaterials/nanoparticles, carbon-based materials (activated carbon and biochar), and their composites have been widely employed for the adsorptive removal and recovery of phosphate from wastewater due to their exceptional properties such as high surface area and high phosphate adsorption properties. This article is a review of the recently reported literature in the field of nanotechnology and activated carbon for the adsorption of phosphate from wastewater. Highlights of the adsorption mechanisms, adsorption behaviour, experimental parameters, effects of co-existing ions, and adsorbent modifications are also discussed.

  • This review summarizes the removal of phosphate from wastewater using adsorption technique.

  • The removal of phosphates from wastewater using activated carbon and its modification using nanoparticles was discussed.

  • A highlight of parameters affecting the rate of adsorption were given.

  • Adsorption mechanism and reusability of adsorbents were discussed.

  • Nanotechnology approach in phosphate removal was discussed.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).