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Optimized synthesis of carbon-doped nano-MgO and its performance study in catalyzed ozonation of humic acid in aqueous solutions: Modeling based on response surface methodology

Asgari, Ghorban, Salari, Mehdi
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.239 pp. 198-210
Taguchi method, X-ray diffraction, anions, aqueous solutions, catalysts, catalytic activity, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, humic acids, magnesium oxide, mathematical models, methanol, mineralization, ozonation, pH, photoluminescence, response surface methodology, salicylic acid, scanning electron microscopy, sonication, sucrose, synergism, temperature
This research study focused on the optimization of the synthesis of carbon-doped nano-MgO (C-MgO) and the investigation of its catalytic capacity in a catalytic ozonation process (COP) for the removal of humic acid (HA). Characterization analyses, including SEM, EDX, XRD, BET, and photoluminescence test showed that the C-MgO was successfully synthesized. L8 orthogonal arrays according to the Taguchi methodology optimized the synthesis of the C-MgO as follows: sucrose to MgO ratio = 0.5, sonication time = 15 min, calcination temperature = 400 °C and pH = 10.5. A central composite design based on response surface methodology was employed to optimize and model the COP in the removal of HA. A quadratic polynomial model with p-value < 0.0001 and R2 = 0.9988 showed a better fit to experimental responses. The optimum levels of the studied parameters in the COP based on the predictive model were obtained as follows: pH = 9.5, reaction time = 12 min, catalyst dose = 1 g/L, and HA concentration = 5 mg/L. The HA mineralization was determined to be 86.8% at the 100 min reaction time. Additionally, the COP exhibited 34% synergistic effect and the kinetic rate constant of 0.1898 min−1 in the HA removal. The presence of tert-butanol, methanol, salicylic acid, and some anions did not significantly affect the removal of the HA in the COP. From a practical view, this report indicated that the C-MgO catalyst could be potentially applied in the COP for the treatment of the water having high concentrations of HA substances.