Modifying polymer flocculants for the removal of inorganic phosphate from water
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Due to strong hydrogen bonding interactions, thiourea has been shown to have a high affinity for anions such as inorganic phosphate. The interaction between phosphate and thiourea has been used to develop technologies that can detect and even remove phosphate from water. This research investigates the use of thiourea derivatized polymer flocculants for the sequestering of inorganic phosphate from water. The study presented herein describes the development of a thiourea based monomer that was used to create a bi-functional polymer that flocculates suspended solid material as well as sorbs phosphate, removing both from water. The new polymer removed more than 60% of the phosphate from a simulated wastewater sample. The addition of a thiourea trapping group to the polymer more than doubled the amount of phosphate removed from solution compared to control polymers. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.