Phosphorous Removal from Aqueous Solutions by Agricultural By-products: A Critical Review

Thi An Hang Nguyen, Huu Hao Ngo, Wenshan Guo, Tien Vinh Nguyen



Phosphorous plays an essential role in the development of living organisms. Nevertheless, phosphorous pollution, known as the eutrophication, is regarded as one of main causes of water quality deterioration. Hence, the decontamination of phosphorous from aqueous solutions is of importance for eutrophication control and phosphorous recovery. This review paper investigates the potential use of agricultural by-products (ABPs) as biosorbents in remediation of phosphorous contaminated waters. It was found that the modified ABPs exhibit equivalent or higher sorption capacity of phosphorous compared to conventional adsorbents. The efficient removal of phosphorous by ABPs requires some chemical modifications. The application of ABPs is highly recommended because of their significant advantages, including the abundant availability, low cost, high efficiency and without detrimental impacts on the environment. As adsorptive removal of phosphorous by ABPs is a relatively new process, there are still many aspects for future research, such as development of novel and cost-effective modification techniques, modeling for process optimization, desorption, cost-benefit analysis etc. The improvements in these aspects are expected to make it the method of choice in the future. 

KeywordsAgricultural by-products; biosorbents; phosphorous; removal efficiency; uptake capacity