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ERIC Number: EJ1031946
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Adsorption of Oxy-Anions in the Teaching Laboratory: An Experiment to Study a Fundamental Environmental Engineering Problem
D'Arcy, Mitch; Bullough, Florence; Moffat, Chris; Borgomeo, Edoardo; Teh, Micheal; Vilar, Ramon; Weiss, Dominik J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n4 p505–510 Apr 2014
Synthesizing and testing bicomposite adsorbents for the removal of environmentally problematic oxy-anions is high on the agenda of research-led universities. Here we present a laboratory module successfully developed at Imperial College London that introduces the advanced undergraduate student in engineering (chemical, civil, earth) and science (chemistry, materials, earth science) to several fundamental principles associated with this research area in a simple, engaging and safe way. This includes (i) the synthesis of inorganic bicomposite sorbents, (ii) the evaluation of the adsorption-removal process, and (iii) the analysis of the sorbate; all underpinned by theory. We devise an experiment using phosphate oxyanions and an iron-titanium oxide bicomposite sorbent, which is simple to synthesize. The adsorption of phosphate solutions of varying concentration is tested and assessed at pH 5 and 9. Phosphate concentrations at equilibrium are analyzed using UV-vis spectroscopy to plot adsorption isotherms and compare the Langmuir and Freundlich models. This topical introduction to environmental engineering is an excellent opportunity to investigate adsorption processes. The complexity of data interpretation can be tailored to a range of abilities, and the topics addressed in the experiment are relevant starting points for further exploration of environmental geochemistry, pollution control, element transport, and adsorption. We present ready-to-use spreadsheets for the students to facilitate data analysis.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A