Synthesis of Iron-loaded Zeolites for Removal of Ammonium and Phosphate from Aqueous Solutions

Kim, Kwang Soo;Park, Jung O;Nam, Sang Chul

  • Received : 2013.06.17
  • Accepted : 2013.09.30
  • Published : 2013.12.30


This study presents a comparison of different protocols for the synthesis of iron-loaded zeolites, and the results of their application, as well as that of zeolite-A (Z-A), to the removal of ammonium and phosphate from aqueous media. Zeolites prepared by three methods were evaluated: iron-incorporated zeolites (IIZ), iron-exchanged zeolites (IEZ), and iron-calcined zeolites (ICZ). The optimal iron content for preparing of IIZ, as determined via scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses, expressed as molar ratio of $SiO_2:Al_2O_3:Fe$, was below 0.05. Ammonia removal revealed that the iron-loaded zeolites have a higher removal capacity than that of Z-A due, not only to ion-exchange phenomena, but also via adsorption. Greater phosphate removal was achieved with IEZ than with ICZ; additionally, no sludge production was observed in this heterogeneous reaction, even though the coagulation process is generally accompanied by the production of a large amount of undesired chemical sludge. This study demonstrates that the developed synthetic iron-loaded zeolites can be applied as a heterogeneous nutrient-removal materials with no sludge production.


Heterogeneous nutrient-removal;Iron-exchanged zeolites;Iron-incorporated zeolite;Nutrient removal


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Supported by : Korea Institute of Construction Technology