Synergistic recapturing of external and internal phosphorus for in situ eutrophication mitigation

Minmin Pan, Tao Lyu, Meiyi Zhang, Honggang Zhang, Lei Bi, Lei Wang, Jun Chen, Chongchao Yao, Jafar Ali, Samantha Best, Nicholas Ray, Gang Pan*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    In eutrophication management, many phosphorus (P) adsorbents have been developed to capture P at the laboratory scale. Existing P removal practice in freshwaters is limited due to the lack of assessment of the possibility and feasibility of controlling P level towards a very low level (such as 10 μg/L) in order to prevent the harmful algal blooms. In this study, a combined external and internal P control approach was evaluated in a simulated pilot-scale river-lake system. In total, 0.8 m3 of simulated river water was continuously supplied to be initially treated by a P adsorption column filled with a granulated lanthanum/aluminium hydroxide composite (LAH) P adsorbent. At the outlet of the column (i.e., inlet of the receiving tanks), the P concentration decreased from 230 to 20 μg/L at a flow rate of 57 L/day with a hydraulic loading rate of 45 m/day. In the receiving tanks (simulated lake), 90 g of the same adsorbent material was added into 1 m3 water for further in situ treatment, which reduced and maintained the P concentration at 10 μg/L for 5 days. The synergy of external and internal P recapture was demonstrated to be an effective strategy for maintaining the P concentration below 10 μg/L under low levels of P water input. The P removal was not significantly affected by temperature (5-30 °C), and the treatment did not substantially alter the water pH. Along with the superior P adsorption capacity, less usage of LAH could lead to reduced cost for potation eutrophication control compared with other widely used P adsorbents.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    JournalWater (Switzerland)
    Issue number1
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • eutrophication control
    • phosphorus recapturing
    • lake restoration
    • phosphorus adsorbent


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