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Issue 1, 2017
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Ferric carbide nanocrystals encapsulated in nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as an outstanding environmental catalyst

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Abstract

Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes encapsulating iron carbide (Fe3C) nanocrystals (Fe3C@NCNT) were fabricated by a simple and direct pyrolysis method using melamine and ferric chloride as the C, N and Fe precursors. The surface morphology, structure and composition of the Fe3C@NCNT materials were thoroughly investigated. The nanomaterials were employed as novel catalysts for peroxymonosulfate (PMS) activation; outstanding efficiency, high stability and excellent reusability were observed in the catalytic oxidation of organics. The encapsulated Fe3C nanoparticles played a key role in the emerging synergetic effects of the carbide and the protective graphitic layers. In addition, the quaternary N and trace amounts of iron on the CNT surface acted as the active sites. Various quenching experiments were carried out to elucidate the catalytic mechanism of Fe3C@NCNT. It was found that singlet oxygen, superoxide, sulfate and hydroxyl radicals worked together to degrade phenol solutions. Due to their simple synthesis method, low-cost precursors, unique structure and excellent catalytic activity and stability, these novel iron-carbide-based composites have great potential as new strategic materials for environmental catalysis.

Graphical abstract: Ferric carbide nanocrystals encapsulated in nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as an outstanding environmental catalyst

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
14 Sep 2016
Accepted
09 Nov 2016
First published
10 Nov 2016

This article is Open Access

Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2017,4, 170-179
Article type
Paper

Ferric carbide nanocrystals encapsulated in nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as an outstanding environmental catalyst

C. Wang, J. Kang, P. Liang, H. Zhang, H. Sun, M. O. Tadé and S. Wang, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2017, 4, 170
DOI: 10.1039/C6EN00397D

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