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Enhanced Phosphate Removal by Nanosized Hydrated La(III) Oxide Confined in Cross-linked Polystyrene Networks

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2016, 00:00 by Yanyang Zhang, Bingcai Pan, Chao Shan, Xiang Gao
A new nanocomposite adsorbent La-201 of extremely high capacity and specific affinity toward phosphate was fabricated and well characterized, where hydrated La­(III) oxide (HLO) nanoclusters were immobilized inside the networking pores of the polystyrene anion exchanger D-201. La-201 exhibited enhanced phosphate adsorption in the presence of competing anions (chloride, sulfate, nitrate, bicarbonate, and silicate) at greater levels (up to molar ratio of 20), with working capacity 2–4 times higher than a commercial Fe­(III) oxide-based nanocomposite HFO-201 in batch runs. Column adsorption runs by using La-201 could effectively treat ∼6500 bed volumes (BV) of a synthetic feeding solution before breakthrough occurred (from 2.5 mg P/L in influent to <0.5 mg P/L in effluent), approximately 11 times higher magnitude than that of HFO-201. The exhausted La-201 could be regenerated with NaOH–NaCl binary solution at 60 °C for repeated use without any significant capacity loss. The underlying mechanism for the specific sorption of phosphate by La-201 was revealed with the aid of STEM-EDS, XPS, XRD, and SSNMR analysis, and the formation of LaPO4·xH2O is verified to be the dominant pathway for selective phosphate adsorption by the immobilized nano-HLO. The results indicated that La-201 was very promising in highly efficient removal of phosphate from contaminated waters.

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