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Iron Reduction-Induced Phosphorus Precipitation in Septic Systems

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An iron-amended anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) fed with synthetic sewage was studied to explore the feasibility of iron reduction-induced phosphate precipitation in septic systems. The results revealed that soluble phosphate was effectively removed from sewage as the supplemented amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide (A-FeOOH) was reduced. At an Fe/P (molar ratio of Fe(III) to soluble P) of 3, the efficiency of phosphorus removal was greater than 96 %. Agitation was found to be an important factor to enable better contact between A-FeOOH and microbes, whereas cycle time, temperature and substrate concentration did not have a noticeable effect on iron reduction and the consequential phosphorus removal. Analyses using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that vivianite [Fe3(PO4)2ยท8H2O] was the main secondary mineral resulting from iron reduction.
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Keywords: Phosphorus removal; iron reduction; septic system; vivianite

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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