Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Dual slag filters for enhanced phosphorus removal from domestic waste water: performance and mechanisms

Zuo, Minyu; Renman, Gunno; Gustafsson, Jon Petter; Klysubun, Wantana


The phosphorus (P) removal of five combinations of dual filters consisting of blast furnace slag (BFS), argon oxygen decarburisation slag (AOD) and electric arc furnace slag (EAF) was evaluated in column experiments with domestic waste water. The columns were fed with waste water for 24 days. The column with only EAF had the best P removal performance (above 93% throughout the experiment). The speciation of the bound P was evaluated by P K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. In all five columns, the main P species of the slag packed in the outlet chamber was amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP). In samples from the inlet chambers, the contributions from crystalline Ca phosphates, P adsorbed on gibbsite and P adsorbed on ferrihydrite were usually much greater, suggesting a shift of P removal mechanism as the waste water travelled from the inlet to the outlet. The results provide strong evidence that P was predominantly removed by the slags through the formation of ACP. However, as the pH decreased with time due to the progressively lower dissolution of alkaline silicate minerals from the slag, the ACP was rendered unstable and hence redissolved, changing the P speciation. It is suggested that this process strongly affected the lifespan of the slag filters. Of the slags examined, EAF slag had the best P removal characteristics and BFS the worst, which probably reflected different dissolution rates of alkaline silicates in the slags.


Metallurgical slags; Calcium phosphate; Phosphate speciation; Precipitation; Adsorption; Metal release

Published in

Environmental Science and Pollution Research
2018, Volume: 25, number: 8, pages: 7391-7400

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Management
    Chemical Process Engineering

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)