Electrospun spongy zero-valent iron as excellent electro-Fenton catalyst for enhanced sulfathiazole removal by a combination of adsorption and electro-catalytic oxidation

Yi Ping Chen, Li Ming Yang, J. Paul Chen, Yu Ming Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a highly active electro-Fenton catalyst, spongy zero-valent iron (ZVI), has been developed at first via in-situ synthesis of ZVI nanoparticles (NPs) on an electrospun three-dimensional (3D) nanofiber network. The spongy ZVI effectively overcame the defects of easy aggregation of ZVI NPs and ferric sludge accumulation during the electro-catalytic process. Then, a three-dimensional electro-Fenton (3D-EF) system using the as-fabricated spongy ZVI as particle catalytic electrodes was designed, which presented a significant synergistic effect of adsorption and electro-catalytic oxidation on the enhanced removal of a widely used antibiotic, sulfathiazole (STZ) from water. Adsorption experiments demonstrated that the spongy ZVI had a relative high adsorption affinity towards STZ with about 50% of the total removal within 240 min, and the adsorption equilibrium was reached in 570 min. Hydroxyl radical ([rad]OH) was produced in the 3D-EF system with spongy ZVI catalyst, and almost 100% STZ was removed within 5 min. Reactive oxygen species analysis verified that [rad]OH was mainly responsible for the STZ degradation. Based on intermediates identified by a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), three pathways for the electro-Fenton oxidative degradation of STZ were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume371
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Antibiotic
  • Electro-catalysis
  • Electrospinning
  • Zero-valent iron

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