Journal of Hazardous Materials
School of Science
Over the past few years, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have shown promising efficiencies for wastewater remediation. Carbocatalysis, in particular, has been exploited widely thanks to its sustainable and economical properties but has an issue of recovery and reusability of the catalysts. To address this, three-dimensional (3D) binary and ternary graphene-based composites in the form of macro discs were created to activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) for catalytic oxidation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX). Graphene oxide served as the base, while graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and/or single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were added. Among the various discs synthesized, rGNTCN discs (ternary composite) were proven to be the most efficient by completely degrading SMX in 60 min owing to their large surface area and nitrogen loading. The catalytic system was further optimized by varying the reaction parameters, and selective radical quenching and electron paramagnetic resonance tests were performed to identify the active radical, revealing the synergistic role of both radical and non-radical pathways. This led to the development of possible SMX degradation pathways. This research not only provides insights into ternary carbocatalysis but also gives a novel breakthrough in catalyst recovery and reusability by transforming nanocatalysts into macro catalysts.
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