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Phosphorous is an essential nutrient for a functioning water ecosystem, however, heightened levels caused by waste water and agriculture can be damaging. High levels of PO43- cause toxic algae blooms, which kill wildlife and contaminate drinking water supplies. Therefore, cheap, efficient phosphate removal systems are beneficial for commercial settings in order to meet governmental standards. Similar research and technology can aid in the removal of toxic heavy metals in industrial waste water. Using a packed column with solid supported media, both phosphate and other selective anions were successfully removed from water. This was confirmed by inductively coupled plasma analysis. Constraints for this deliverable would include reagent cost as well as governmental regulations concerning substances in waste water. Another consideration was the ability to reuse spent columns through regeneration techniques. By creating a small scale column system, the team tested the effective removal of selective anions from water sources while keeping in mind the contact time and loading capacity of metals onto the media. Through design of experiment, optimal results were obtained. For removal, it was determined that, the higher the loading of the metal along with 4 minute contact times allowed for optimal removal. The most efficient media and regenerative were also determined. Future considerations should involve a real time controller to obtain instant analytical data allowing users to know when columns need to be regenerated. This ensures minimal waste of reagent during removal. This design is applicable to companies concerned with the environmental impact of their waste water.

Publication Date



Chemical and life science engineering, Selective Anion, Waste water, Removal, Environmental Impact


Chemical Engineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Frank Gupton

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Rudy Krack

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Will Henderson

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Vladimir Djukanovic

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Phosphate and Selective Anion Removal of Waste Water in Industrial Systems