Excessive phosphorus is one of the main reasons leading to eutrophication that causes severe ecosystem imbalance and negative human health impacts. In this study, several chitosan (CS)/lanthanum (La) hydrogel beads were first synthesized and tested for phosphorus removal. The stable cross-linked CS/La hydrogel bead prepared with the optimized conditions of 10 wt% La/CS and 1.5 mL of 5% glutaraldehyde demonstrated exceptional performance in the removal. It removed phosphate effectively from an aqueous solution in the pH range from 2 to 7. The complete phosphate uptake was achieved at contact time of 6 h under the completely mixing batch condition. The experimental maximum adsorption capacity of 107.7 mg g−1 was observed at solution pH 4. The phosphate adsorption was well described by the Freundlich isotherm and the intraparticle surface diffusion model. Furthermore, the adsorbent was effectively regenerated and reused in a five-cycle adsorption-desorption operation. The removal of phosphate can be attributed to electrostatic attraction and ion exchange. Moreover, the bead was capable of removing heavy metals: copper, zinc and lead. This adsorbent may be served as a cost-effective material for the treatment of phosphorus-contaminated water so as to minimize the occurrence of eutrophication.
- Intraparticle diffusion model
- Ion exchange
- Material optimization