A study of the mechanism of phosphate adsorption by magnesium iron hydroxycarbonate, [Mg2.25Fe0.75(OH)6](CO3)0.37·0.65H2O over a range of pH has been carried out. The efficiency of the phosphate removal from aqueous solution has been investigated between pH 3–9 and the resulting solid phases have been studied by elemental analysis, XRD, FT-IR, Raman, HRTEM, EDX and solid-state MAS 31P NMR. The analytical and spectroscopic data suggest that phosphate removal from solution occurs not by anion intercalation of the relevant phosphorous oxyanion (H2PO4− or HPO42−) into the LDH but by the precipitation of either an insoluble ironhydrogen phosphate hydrate and/or a magnesium phosphate hydrate.
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