Phosphorus removal and recovery from water with macroporous bead adsorbent constituted of alginate-Zr 4+ and PNIPAM-interpenetrated networks

Huayong Luo, Xueyang Zeng, Peng Liao, Hongwei Rong, Tian C. Zhang, Z. Jason Zhang, Xiangchao Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Currently, there is a growing trend in employing natural biomaterials (e.g., alginate) to prepare a novel bead adsorbent for phosphorus (P) elimination. However, the utilization of alginate beads to remove and recover P from effluents possesses limitations associated with its physical characteristics such as a dense gel layer, poor mechanical strength and low stability. To overcome the limitations and improve the adsorption performances, we synthesized a novel alginate-derived bead constituted of PNIPAM network interpenetrated in alginate-Zr 4+ network (PNIPAM/SA-Zr) decorated with polyethylene glycol as a pore-forming agent, and then investigated its ability to remove and recover P from effluents. The morphology, functional groups, surface area, and mechanical strength of the beads were evaluated by SEM, FTIR, BET, and swelling analysis. The adsorption of P was investigated by varying various factors. The adsorption kinetics, isotherms, and thermodynamics were studied. Particularly, the P-loaded beads exhibited a faster desorption rate under thermal stimulus, and remained good desorption efficiency and reusability within five consecutive cycles. Zeta-potential and XPS results revealed that the adsorption mechanisms were related to electrostatic interactions, ligand exchange, and the formation of inner-sphere complexes. The beads possessed favorable fixed-bed column operation performances for P removal and recovery from real wastewater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1144
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Adsorption
  • Alginate beads
  • Phosphorus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)


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