Managing eutrophication remains a challenge to water managers. Currently, the manipulation of biogeochemical processes (i.e., geo-engineering) by using phosphorus-adsorptive techniques has been recognized as an appropriate tool to manage the problem. The first step in finding potential mitigating materials is conducting a sequence of upscaling studies that commence with controlled laboratory experiments. Here, the abilities of 10 possible solid–phase-sorbents (SPS) to adsorb P were examined. Four materials adsorbed P, and two of these materials were modified, i.e., a lanthanum-modified-bentonite (LMB) and an aluminum-modified-zeolite (AMZ), and had the highest adsorption capacities of 11.4 and 8.9 mg P g− 1, respectively. Two natural materials, a red soil (RS) and a bauxite (BAU), were less efficient with adsorption capacities of 2.9 and 3.4 mg P g− 1, respectively. Elemental composition was not related to P adsorption. Since SPS might be affected by pH and redox status, we also tested these materials at pH values of 6, 7, 8 and 9 and under anoxic condition. All tested materials experienced decreased adsorption capacities under anoxic condition, with maximum adsorptions of 5.3 mg P g− 1 for LMB, 5.9 mg P g− 1 for AMZ, 0.2 mg P g− 1 for RS and 0.2 mg P g− 1 for BAU. All materials were able to adsorb P across the range of pH values that were tested. The maximum adsorption capacities of LMB and RS were highest at pH 6, AMZ was higher at a pH of 9 and BAU at a pH of 8. Thus, pH influenced P adsorption differently. Given the effects of pH and anoxia, other abiotic variables should also be considered. Considering the criteria that classify a useful SPS (i.e., effective, easy to produce, cheap and safe), only the two modified materials that were tested seem to be suitable for upscaling to enclosure studies with anoxic sediments.
- Phosphate adsorption
- Phosphorus control