Phosphorous (P) in wastewater is a primary source of P entering lakes and streams, contributing to water pollution. Hence, it must be treated before being released into the environment. This study aimed to quantify the adsorption characteristics of phosphorous in a batch experiment using 5 and 10 g/l Murunkan clay with varying concentrations of PO43--P and to quantify phosphorous leaching and assess the efficiency of absorptivity of Murunkan clay in a leaching column experiment using a mixture of clay and sand at ratios of 20:80, 30:70, 40:60 and 0:100 as controls. Murunkan clay is a promising P adsorbent naturally found in Murunkan, Mannar district, Sri Lanka. The adsorption isotherm had a better fitted Freundlich model than Langmuir. Batch experiments reveal that phosphorous adsorption on clay increases with increasing soil-solution ratio. The leaching column test reveals that Murunkan clay positively impacts P adsorption, as more than 99.75% of applied P was adsorbed. Moreover, the maximum amount of Murunkan clay needed to adsorb 60 mg of P is less than 262.6 g, corresponding to a 20:80 clay‒sand mixture. Extensive research is recommended, as it enables scaling down the size of treatment plants, ensuring that a greater amount of phosphorous is adsorbed, minimizing water pollution.


Adsorption, Batch experiment, Leaching column, Murunkan clay, Phosphorous

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