Removal of Phosphorus from Synthetic Wastewater Using Recycled Concrete Aggregates as a Filter Medium

  • S. H. Adnan
  • R. Hamdan
  • N. I. M. Yassin
  • N. A. Roni
Keywords: Phosphorus, recycled aggregates, recycled concrete aggregates, wastewater treatment, synthetic wastewater


These days, sustainability has become a primary concern as the large amount of natural resources are being used to produce materials such as concrete. Concrete from the construction industry constitutes the major proportion of construction waste. This could bring negative impact including depletion of natural resources, pollution, increasing landfill space, and high cost of waste disposal. All of these negative impacts are the sustainability issues that should be concentrated on. Hence, alternative methods have been introduced in order to reduce waste by recycling concrete waste. One of the alternative methods that can be used is by reusing recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) from discarded waste cubes. RCA can be used to produce new concrete but it will generally have a lower performance compared to normal concrete. Thus, the present study introduces an alternative method which is by reusing the RCA as a water filter medium to remove phosphorus from wastewater. Phosphorus is one of the inorganic compounds found in wastewater that can lead to environmental problems such as eutrophication. Based on previous studies, many types of materials with various chemical compositions have been used for phosphorus removal from wastewater. Therefore, this study demonstrates the ability of RCA as an alternative method for phosphorus removal from wastewater. In addition, three different factors have been considered in the removal of phosphorus namely, different initial concentration of phosphorus, different sizes of RCA and dosage of RCA used during the treatment process. Based on the experiments conducted, the lowest initial concentration of phosphorus of 10 mg/L, the smallest RCA size ranging between 0mm to 5mm and the highest RCA dosage of 50g resulted in the highest percentage of phosphorus removal in wastewater.


DEFRA. (2006). Review of England's waste strategy-a consultation document, summary ofresponses to the consultation. London: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Tam, V. W. Y. (2009). Comparing the implementation of concrete recycling in the Australian and Japanese construction industries. Journal of Cleaner Production 17.7: 688-702.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (2004). Transportation Applications of Recycled Concrete Aggregates. State of the Practice National Review.

Recycling Technology Assistance Partnership (ReTAP) (1998). Quality Control for Recycled Concrete as a Structural Fill Material.

Adnan. S.H, Abdul Rahman, I, .Mohd Saman, H. (2014). Enhancing the performance of Recycled Aggregate Concrete Using Micronized Biomass Silica. INCIEC 2014: Proceedings of the International Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Conference 2014, Springer Singapore.

Vymazal, J., Brix, H., Cooper, P.F., Green, M.B., Haberl, R. (Eds.), (1998).Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment in Europe. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Johansson, L. (1999). Industrial by-products and natural substrata as phosphorus sorbents. Environmental Technology 20, 309-316.

Drizo, A., Frost C.A., Grace J. Smith, K.A., (1999). Physico-chemical screening of phosphate-removing substrates for use in constructed wetland systems. Water Res. 33 (17): 3595-3602.

Xiangling, Z., Lu, G.,Hualing, H., Yinghe, J., Meng., L., Yujie, L.(2016). Removal of phosphorus by the core-shell bio-ceramic/Zn-layered double hydroxides (LDHs) composites for municipal wastewater treatment in constructed rapid infiltration system. Water Research, 96: 280-291.

Wood, R.B., McAtamney, C.F. (1996). Constructed wetlands for waste water treatment: the use of laterite in the bed medium in phosphorus and heavy metal removal. Hydrobiologia 340, 323-331.

Chazarenz, M., Surasyh, H., & Deskon, S. (2017). Biological phosphorus removal process for wastewater treatment. International Conference of Science, 27.

S√łnderup, M.J Maier, Egemose, S. & Mogens R. Flindt, (2013).Cardiovascular Research. Modeling phosphorus removal in wet ponds with filter zones containing sand or crushed concrete.

Nassar and Soroushian (2012). Strength and durability of recycled aggregate concrete containing milled glass as partial replacement for cement. Construction and Building Materials; 29: 368-377.

Hansen, T.C., Narud H. (1983) Strength of recycled concrete made from crushed concrete coarse aggregates. Concr Int- Des Constr : 5(1):79-83.

How to Cite
Adnan, S. H., Hamdan, R., Yassin, N. I. M., & Roni, N. A. (2018). Removal of Phosphorus from Synthetic Wastewater Using Recycled Concrete Aggregates as a Filter Medium. Journal of Civil Engineering, Science and Technology, 9(1), 13-26.