(138e) Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity in Dye Degradation By Uct Mesoporous Iron Oxides

Jiang, T., University of Connecticut
Du, S., University of Connecticut
Zhong, W., University of Connecticut
Suib, S. L., University of Connecticut

Photocatalytic dye degradation is an effective way to remove pollutant dyes in water. The UCT mesoporous materials, synthesized by the state-of-the-art sol-gel based inversed micelle method, can provide tunable structural properties, such as surface area, pore size and volume, and crystallinity. In this study, mesoporous iron oxides in different phases, 2-line ferrihydrite, α-Fe2O3, γ-Fe2O3, and, Fe3O4, have been prepared by changing the synthesis conditions, such as reaction temperature and calcination process. The increased reaction temperature was shown to increase the pore size due to the redox reactions between the as-made iron(III) oxide and the surface NOx/carboxyl groups. When calcined in a nitrogen atmosphere, Fe(II) species could form Fe3O4 phase. The mesoporous iron oxides with different phases have been applied to orange II degradation under visible light irradiation as Fenton catalysts. All the synthesized mesoporous iron oxides show higher photocatalytic activity than commercial Fe2O3 in the orange II degradation reaction. Mesoporous 2-line ferrihydrite presents the highest reaction rate constant (0.0258 min-1), which is mainly attributed to its large surface area. The recyclability study indicates that the activity of the synthesized mesoporous iron oxides can be maintained for at least 3 times recycles.