Five column experiments have been carried out to investigate the effect of flow rate on the breakthrough curves (BTCs) of
phosphate, fulvic acid, and uranium(VI) onto a silica column. Both BTCs of phosphate and fulvic acid, and three BTCs of uranium(VI)
in the presence and absence of phosphate or fulvic acid at high flow rate published in the previous paper [<cite>1</cite>] were compared with corresponding initial parts of BTCs at low flow rate in this paper. Each BTC in this paper was expressed
as both C/Co–t and C/Co–V/Vo plots, where C and Co are the concentrations in the influent and the effluent respectively, t and V are the time and the effluent volume from the
start of injection of pulse solution respectively, Vo is the pore volume of the SiO2 column. Based on the experimental results and the relationship among V, t, and flow rate F, it was found that there are advantages
to using C/Co–V/Vo plot as BTC to study the effect of flow rate. Based on these comparisons of C/Co–V/Vo plots at different flow rates and the theoretical analysis from the Bohart–Adams sorption model, it was found that the right
shift (increase in V/Vo of breakthrough), the left shift (decrease in V/Vo of breakthrough), and the non-shift (non-change in V/Vo of breakthrough) of initial parts of BTCs with increasing flow rate are certain to occur instead of only left shift and that
three different trends of shifts can be mainly attributed to different rate-controlling mechanisms of sorption process.