In this study, the application of ordered mesoporous silica (OMS) doped with various metal oxides (Zr, Ti, Fe and Al) were studied for the removal of (ortho) phosphate ions from water by adsorption. The materials were characterized by means of N(2) physisorption (BET), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The doped materials had surface areas between 600 and 700 m(2)g(-1) and exhibited pore sizes of 44-64 Å. Phosphate adsorption was determined by measurement of the aqueous concentration of orthophosphate using ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy before and after extraction. The effects of different metal oxide loading ratios, initial concentration of phosphate solution, temperature and pH effects on the efficiency of phosphate removal were investigated. The doped mesoporous materials were effective adsorbents of orthophosphate and up to 100% removal was observed under appropriate conditions. 'Back extracting' the phosphate from the doped silica (following water treatment) was also investigated and shown to have little adverse effect on the adsorbent.
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