Phosphate uptake by TiO2: Batch studies and NMR spectroscopic evidence for multisite adsorption

Sue A. Kang, Wei Li, Hyo Eun Lee, Brian L. Phillips, Young Jae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Systematic studies, combining batch experiments with NMR spectroscopic methods, are carried out for phosphate sorption on titanium dioxide (TiO2). It is found that phosphate sorption on TiO2 decreases with increasing pH, whereas the phosphate uptake by TiO2 increases with increasing ionic strength of the solution. In I≤0.1M, the sorption sharply increases and reaches a near maximum and then followed by little changes showing Langmuir-type behavior, whereas in I=0.7M, non-Langmuirian uptake becomes evident as equilibrium phosphate concentrations increase in solution. The sorption of phosphate on TiO2 is rapid and mostly irreversible at pH 4.5 and 7.0. At pH 9.0, however, the phosphate sorption is initially reversible and followed by resorption of phosphate on TiO2 at the system re-equilibration. 31P{1H} cross-polarization and magic angle spinning (CP/MAS) NMR spectra contain at least four main peaks which appear similar in position and width under all adsorption conditions, but vary in intensity with surface loading. The spectral characteristics of these peaks, including cross-polarization dynamics and chemical shift anisotropy obtained from spinning sideband analysis, suggest that they arise from distinct inner-sphere adsorption complexes, most of which are protonated. These results indicate that uptake of phosphate by TiO2 occurs by formation of several types of surface complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 15


  • Cross-polarization and magic angle spinning (CP/MAS)
  • Inner-sphere adsorption surface complexes
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • Phosphate
  • Sorption isotherm
  • Titanium dioxide (TiO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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