Graphene oxide with zinc partially substituted magnetite (GO–Fe1−xZnxOy) for the UV-assisted heterogeneous Fenton-like reaction†
A series of graphene oxide (GO) and zinc partially substituted magnetite GO–Fe1−xZnxOy (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.285) catalysts were synthesised through a precipitation-oxidation method. The rate constants for the degradation of acid orange seven (AO7) proceeded at a significant faster rate under UV-irradiation (up to 670%) than the conventional heterogeneous Fenton-like reaction. The resultant catalysts were mesoporous, so there was no mass transfer limitation for AO7 to access active sites in the catalysts. Further, maximum increases of rate constant up to 220% occurred as the zinc molar concentration increased from x = 0 to x = 0.159. GO enhanced to incorporation of zinc into the combined metal oxide, whilst zinc limited crystal growth, thus forming smaller crystallite sizes. These features proved to be essential for the improved catalytic activity of the resultant catalysts. The optimised zinc molar value at x = 0.159 delivered the best catalytic activity.