Biosorbents prepared from wood particles treated with anionic polymer and iron salt: Effect of particle size on phosphate adsorption
Biomass-based adsorbents have been widely studied as a cost-effective and environmentally-benign means to remove pollutants and nutrients from water. A two-stage treatment of aspen wood particles with solutions of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and ferrous chloride afforded a biosorbent that was effective in removing phosphate from test solutions. FTIR spectroscopy of the biosorbent samples showed a decrease in the intensity of the carboxylate signal coinciding with a decrease in particle size. Elemental analysis results showed the iron content of both the biosorbent samples, and wood particles treated with ferrous chloride alone, to also decrease with particle size. The relationship between iron content and particle size for the biosorbent samples appeared to be a function of both the amount of CMC?Fe complex and the effciency of removing free iron ions after treating. Sorption testing results showed a strong linear correlation between the phosphorous uptake capacities and the iron contents of the samples adjusted for losses of iron during testing. As anticipated, pretreating with the anionic polymer provided additional sites to complex iron and thereby imparted a greater phosphorous uptake capacity. Although the larger wood particles provided a greater amount of iron for phosphate removal, smaller wood particles may be preferred since they afforded the lowest release of iron relative to the amount of phosphate removed.