Removal of phosphates from aqueous solution by sepiolite-nano zero valent iron composite optimization with response surface methodology

  • M. Malakootian
  • M. Daneshkhah
  • H. Hossaini
Original Paper


In this study, sepiolite-nano zero valent iron composite was synthesized and applied for its potential adsorption to remove phosphates from aqueous solution. This composite was characterized by different techniques. For optimization of independent parameters (pH = 3–9; initial phosphate concentration = 5–100 mg/L; adsorbent dosage = 0.2–1 g/L; and contact time = 5–100 min), response surface methodology based on central composite design was used. Adsorption isotherms and kinetic models were done under optimum conditions. The results indicated that maximum adsorption efficiency of 99.43 and 92% for synthetic solution and real surface water sample, respectively, were achieved at optimum conditions of pH 4.5, initial phosphate concentration of 25 mg/L, adsorbent dosage of 0.8 g/L, and 46.26 min contact time. The interaction between adsorbent and adsorbate is better described with the Freundlich isotherm (R 2 = 0.9537), and the kinetic of adsorption process followed pseudo-second-order model. Electrostatic interaction was the major mechanisms of the removal of phosphates from aqueous solution. The findings of this study showed that there is an effective adsorbent for removal of phosphates from aqueous solutions.


Adsorption Water Agglomeration Central composite design 



This research was conducted at the Environmental Health Engineering Research Center and was sponsored by the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology of Kerman University of Medical Sciences. The authors take this opportunity to express their gratitude for the support and assistance extended by the facilitators during the conduct of the research.


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© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Health Engineering Research CenterKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health, School of Public HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  3. 3.Environmental Health Engineering, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Public HealthKermanshah University of Medical SciencesKermanshahIran

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