Synthesis optimisation and characterisation of chitosan-calcite adsorbent from fishery-food waste for phosphorus removal

Sabolc Pap, Caroline Kirk, Barbara Bremner, Maja Turk Sekulic, Stuart W. Gibb, Snezana Maletic, Mark A. Taggart

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25 Citations (Scopus)
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Here, Box-Behnken design (BBD) approaches were utilised to optimise synthesis methodology for the chitosan-calcite rich adsorbent (CCM) made from fishery-food waste material (crab carapace), using low-temperature activation and potassium hydroxide (KOH). The effect of activation temperature, activation time and impregnation ratio was studied. The final adsorbent material was evaluated for its phosphorus (P) removal efficiency from liquid phase. Results showed that impregnation ratio was the most significant individual factor as this acted to increase surface deacetylation of the chitin (to chitosan) and increased the number of amine groups (–NH2) in the chitosan chain. P removal efficiency approached 75.89% (at initial P concentration of 20 mg/L) under optimised experimental conditions, i.e. where the impregnation ratio for KOH:carapace (g/g) was 1:1, the activation temperature was 105 °C and the activation time was 150 min. Predicted responses were in good agreement with the experimental data. Additionally, the pristine and CCM material were further analysed using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller technique (BET), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Characterisation showed enhancements in surface chemistry (introducing positively charged amine groups), textural properties and thermal stability of the CCM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date11 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2020


  • Waste management;
  • Deacetylation;
  • Adsorption;
  • Nutrient recovery;
  • Wastewater treatment;
  • Circular economy


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