CaO2/UV Process for One-Step Phosphorus Removal and Recovery from Hypophosphite: Simultaneous Oxidation and Precipitation

Shaopeng Zhang, Bingnan Song, Runhua Wang, Zhengshuo Zhan, Michel Saakes, Renata D. van der Weijden, Cees J.N. Buisman, Yang Lei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hypophosphite (P(I)) is ubiquitous in some waste streams. It may contribute to the eutrophication of water bodies, yet conventional methods are ineffective in treating P(I)-laden wastewater. Here, we propose a novel CaO2/ultraviolet (UV) system that can simultaneously remove P(I) and recover Ca-phosphate. This system lies in the simultaneous release of OH-, Ca2+, and H2O2, with the last being activated and producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) under UV irradiation. Subsequently, the generated ROS converts P(I) to phosphite and phosphate, forming Ca-phosphate with the released Ca2+ at pH 11.0. Beyond activating H2O2, UV light also promotes the dissolution of CaO2 powders. The system removes 97.0% of 1.0 mM P(I) in 6 h with dosing 2.0 mM CaO2. The presence of 5.0 mM HCO3- drops P(I) removal from 97.0 to 14.1% by competing with P(V) toward Ca2+. Nitrate and humic acid show similar effects by adsorbing UV light or quenching ROS. However, we may overcome the adverse effects with an enhanced CaO2 dose. For example, with 10 mM CaO2, the CaO2/UV system removed more than 78% of non-ortho P from actual electroless rinse water. These results confirmed that CaO2/UV is an exciting all-in-one system for treating P(I)-laden wastewater and recovering valuable P products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866-875
Number of pages10
JournalACS ES and T Water
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • advanced oxidation process
  • calcium peroxide
  • calcium phosphate
  • electroless plating wastewater
  • phosphorus removal and recovery


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