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Fabrication of magnetic Fe3O4/silica nanofiber composites with enhanced Fenton-like catalytic performance for Rhodamine B degradation

Tang, Xuekun, Feng, Qiming, Liu, Kun, Li, Zishun, Wang, Hao
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.1 pp. 369-384
adsorption, catalysts, catalytic activity, hydrophilicity, iron oxides, microstructure, nanofibers, nanoparticles, silica, surface area
Tiny Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles (Fe₃O₄NP) were successfully immobilized on the surface of porous silica nanofibers (PSNF) to form a novel hybrid Fenton-like catalyst of Fe₃O₄/PSNF through an in situ high-temperature decomposition method. The crystalline phase, microstructure and specific properties of Fe₃O₄/PSNF were characterized in detail. It was found that the Fe₃O₄NP with cubic spinel structure and diameter of 10–80 nm was grown on the surface of PSNF through interfacial Fe–O–Si bond. The surface of PSNF was partly covered by Fe₃O₄NP, which made the surface hydroxyl groups of silanol well maintained in Fe₃O₄/PSNF. The Fenton-like catalytic performances of Fe₃O₄/PSNF and naked Fe₃O₄NP were evaluated through a series of kinetic tests on degradation of Rhodamine B. The results show that the Fe₃O₄/PSNF has much higher adsorption capacity and Fenton-like catalytic activity than those of naked Fe₃O₄NP. Besides, the Fe₃O₄/PSNF also shows good stability and recyclability, and as a result, the novel catalyst is easily separated by magnetic method and reused for further reaction. It is proposed that the PSNF significantly improves the catalytic activity by making a highly dispersed Fe₃O₄NP and providing abundant micro/mesopores and a large surface area with strong adsorptive and hydrophilic properties.