Chemical behavior of different species of phosphorus in coagulation

Taejun Park, Vanvimol Ampunan, Sanghyup Lee, Eunhyea Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus is one of the elements that have a significant impact on such environmental problems as eutrophication or algal bloom. Phosphorus compounds in water can be hydrolyzed to orthophosphate that is the only form of phosphorus that algae can assimilate. In this study, phosphorus removal in terms of orthophosphate and total phosphorus from wastewater was studied using alum or ferric ions as coagulants. It was observed that alum shows higher phosphorus removal efficiency than ferric ions in the same mole ratio concentrations. The proportion of orthophosphate among total phosphorus did not change significantly during coagulation process when the coagulant concentration is low. However, the proportion becomes gradually decreased as the coagulant concentration increases. Not only the electrolyte concentration difference in solution, but the characteristics of orthophosphate and polyphosphate such as reactivity and ionic size might also cause the differences in the removal rate. Orthophosphate that has greater reactivity than other phosphorus species would be involved in chemical reactions dominantly when large amounts of coagulants are applied. However, the effect of reactivity was diminished due to the large ionic size of polyphosphate and low concentration of electrolyte in low coagulant concentration during the coagulation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2264-2269
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the KIST Institutional Program (Project No. 2E24280 ). This work was also partly supported by the Brain Korea 21 Plus Project (Project No. 21A20130012821 ).


  • Coagulation
  • Orthophosphate
  • Phosphorus removal
  • Polyphosphate
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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