Mesocarbon Microbead Carbon-Supported Magnesium Hydroxide Nanoparticles: Turning Spent Li-ion Battery Anode into a Highly Efficient Phosphate Adsorbent for Wastewater Treatment

Phosphorus in water eutrophication has become a serious problem threatening the environment. However, the development of efficient adsorbents for phosphate removal from water is lagging. In this work, we recovered the waste material, graphitized carbon, from spent lithium ion batteries and modified it with nanostructured Mg­(OH)2 on the surface to treat excess phosphate. This phosphate adsorbent shows one of the highest phosphate adsorption capacities to date, 588.4 mg/g (1 order of magnitude higher than previously reported carbon-based adsorbents), and exhibits decent stability. A heterogeneous multilayer adsorption mechanism was proposed on the basis of multiple adsorption results. This highly efficient adsorbent from spent Li-ion batteries displays great potential to be utilized in industry, and the mechanism study paved a way for further design of the adsorbent for phosphate adsorption.