Pilot-scale test for a phosphate treatment using sulfate-coated zeolite at a sewage disposal facility

Jae Woo Choi, Kyu Sang Kwon, Soonjae Lee, Byungryul An, Seok Won Hong, Sang Hyup Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this research was to evaluate a zeolite ball coated with sulfate (ZBCS) for the removal of phosphate in a batch, lab-scale column, and pilot-scale plant. Phosphate adsorption in the batch studies satisfactorily fitted to the Langmuir isotherm with a maximum adsorption capacity of 15.13 mg/g and the pseudo-first-order model with the amount of phosphate sorbed at equilibrium of 6.98 mg/g. The breakthrough data were satisfactorily described using the empirical model by Thomas. Phosphate adsorbed on the ZBCS was effectively desorbed using 10 % sulfuric acid and the surface-modified mineral was regenerated as an adsorbent for thrice adsorption and desorption cycles by maintaining the adsorption capacity at the value before regeneration. In addition, since the regeneration solution used for recycling of the ZBCS in the pilot plant is enriched with sulfate ion, the enriched solution could be used for resource recovery by various methods, such as mineral-based and chemical-based methods. Our research suggests a complete system for removal and recovery of phosphate from sewage and wastewater using a novel adsorbent based on minerals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1835
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research is supported by a grant from the Korea Ministry of Environment as "Global Top Project" (GT-11-B-01-011-1) and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) institutional program (2E23943).


  • Phosphate
  • Pilot plant
  • Sewage
  • Sulfate
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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