A vegetated drainage ditch (VDD) system is an effective management practice for removing excess phosphorus (P) from agricultural runoff. However, the maximization of P removing efficiency by VDD remains a challenge. In this study, new VDDs with akadama clay barriers (particle size of clay: 1–6 mm; height of barrier: 5–15 cm and length of barrier: 10–90 cm) were designed in lab scale, and the mechanism of phosphate removal by akadama clay was investigated. It was found that a new VDD with akadama clay barriers (particle size:1 mm; height:10 cm and length: 90 cm) exhibited the highest removal efficiency of total P (TP) (97.1%), particulate P(PP) (96.9%), and dissolved P (DP) (97.4%), respectively. The retained P was mainly adsorbed in akadama clay barrier sections, and a low concentration of P was observed in soil sections in the new VDD. The maximum adsorption capacity of phosphate to akadama clay was 5.06 mg/g at 298 K, and XPS analysis indicated that phosphate was adsorbed by the inner-sphere complexation formation with the metal elements (Al, Fe). This study indicates that the new VDD with akadama clay barriers is a promising technique to efficiently remove P from agricultural runoff and significantly minimize the risk of P release into streams through runoff.
- Adsorption of phosphorus
- Akadama clay barrier
- Phosphorus removal efficiency
- Vegetated drainage ditch