Passive Detection of Phosphorus in Agricultural Tile Waters Using Reactive Hybrid Anion Exchange Resins

Zhe Li, Maria Librada Chu, Lowell Gentry, Ying Li, Corey Mitchell, Yuji Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tile drainage waters carry considerable loads of phosphorus (P) from agricultural fields to rivers and streams in the Midwestern U.S. An innovative and economical approach to monitor dissolved reactive P (DRP) flux in tile waters is needed to understand the extent of P loss in field-scale. In this study, a passive sampling technique was developed using iron oxide-coated polyacrylic/polystyrene anion exchange resins (hybrid resins) a P sink. Laboratory batch adsorption isotherm and kinetic experiments indicated that the hybrid resins had high P adsorption capacity (7.69–19.84 mg/g) and high kinetic performance. The passive sampling method with field-calibrated hybrid polyacrylic resin and hybrid polystyrene resins (sampling rate: 0.1351 and 0.0763 L/h, respectively) predicted the average DRP concentrations of 0.006–0.020 mg/L, which did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) from the auto-sampling data. A rapid increase in DRP concentration during storm events and subsequent flooding events was also predicted well. In conclusion, a passive detection method using iron oxide coated hybrid resins can be recommended for monitoring seasonally fluctuating DRP flux in agricultural waters as long as the hybrid resins are well-calibrated under specific field conditions (e.g., flow rate and concentration range).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2808
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 10 2020


  • Hybrid anion exchange resins
  • Passive sampling
  • Phosphorus
  • Tile drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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