Phosphate removal from water using bottom ash: adsorption performance, coexisting anions and modelling studies

Water Sci Technol. 2021 Jan;83(1):77-89. doi: 10.2166/wst.2020.561.


Phosphate in freshwater possesses significant effects on both quality of water and human health. Hence, many treatment methods have been used to remove phosphate from water/wastewaters, such as biological and electrochemical methods. Recent researches demonstrated that adsorption approaches are convenient solutions for water/wastewater remediation from phosphate. Thus, the present study employs industrial by-products (bottom ash (BA)), as a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative, to remediate water from phosphate in the presence of competitor ions (humic acid). This study was initiated by characterising the chemical and physical properties of the BA, sample, then Central Composite Design (CCD) was utilised to design the required batch experiments and to model the influence of solution temperature (ST), humic acid concentration (HAC), pH of the solution (PoS) and doses of adsorbent (DoA) on the performance of the BA. The Langmuir model was utilised to assess the adsorption process. The outcomes of this study evidenced that the BA removed 83.8% of 5.0 mg/l of phosphates at ST, HAC, PoS and DoA 35 °C, 20 mg/L, 5 and 55 g/L, respectively. The isotherm study indicated a good affinity between BA and phosphate. Additionally, the developed model, using the CCD, reliably simulated the removal of phosphates using BA (R2 = 0.99).

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Anions
  • Coal Ash
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Phosphates*
  • Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Anions
  • Coal Ash
  • Phosphates
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water