The use of polymer sorbents in wastewater treatment can generate large-scale secondary waste due to the oxidation of the polymer matrix, stemming from the ionogenic functional groups or impurities. In this work, amorphous Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles were embedded into a porous non-ionogenic polymer matrix (Porolas) using two different Fe(III) salts (iron nitrate and iron oxalate) for designing an easily separable and recyclable photocatalytic system. The Fe 2 O 3 -Porolas composites were prepared by a simple method: an impregnation of the Porolas by Fe(III) salts and calcination at 250 °C for 1 h. The sorption capacity and photocatalytic activity of the Fe 2 O 3 -Porolas composites were evaluated by the removal of methylene blue (MB) from model-contaminated water under UV light irradiation in the presence of oxalic acid. The characterization results, particularly from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Mössbauer spectroscopy, confirmed the formation of highly dispersed amorphous Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles that are embedded in the Porolas matrix. An increase in the content of the embedded Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles decreased specific surface area (S BET ), MB sorption capacity, and apparent photodegradation rate constant (k app ) but increased the photodegradation efficiency of MB. The enhancement in MB removal can be attributed to the photocatalytic activities of the Porolas and Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles (heterogeneous photocatalysis), sorption effect, and leaching of Fe ions in aqueous solution (homogeneous photocatalysis). The scaffold network of the Porolas and highly dispersed Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles additionally contributed to the enhancement of photocatalytic activity of the Fe 2 O 3 -Porolas composite. Almost complete decolorization of MB (96–98%) and more than 97% TOC were achieved in this study, confirming simultaneous mineralization of both MB and OA in aqueous solution. The Fe 2 O 3 -Porolas composite can be easily prepared and inexpensive to design an easily separable and recyclable photocatalytic system for wastewater treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films