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Phosphorus Fate and Transport in Soil Columns Loaded Intermittently with Influent of High Phosphorus Concentrations

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In this study, several columns of different lengths were filled with composite soils sampled from the field at corresponding depths and then loaded intermittently with influent of a high phosphorus concentration to evaluate phosphorus fate and transport in soil. The results indicate that the height of the mass transfer zone, solvent pore velocity, and soil's life expectancy for phosphorus removal increased with depth, while the retained phosphorus per kilogram of soil and the linear adsorption equilibrium coefficient, R, decreased with depth. An equation was developed to link liquid-phase phosphorus with solvent traveling time and soil depth. The results of X-ray diffraction and washout tests indicate that calcium-phosphorus precipitation and/or crystal growth occurred in the columns. The new protocol is useful for evaluation of phosphorus fate and transport in other subsurface systems, because it allows flexible adjustments in hydraulic loadings, feed solution, and sampling schemes.

Keywords: adsorption; fate and transport; land treatment system; life expectancy; phosphorus

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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