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Carbon nanotubes-ferrite-manganese dioxide micromotors for advanced oxidation processes in water treatment

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Abstract

Multifunctional SW-Fe2O3/MnO2 tubular micromotors are used for ‘on-the-fly’ advanced water oxidation of industrial organic pollutants. Catalytic decomposition of H2O2 as an oxidation agent results in the production of oxygen bubbles and hydroxyl radicals for complete mineralization of model pollutants into CO2 and H2O. The carbon backbone with Fe2O3 nanoparticles results in a rough catalytic layer for increased speed (16-fold acceleration as compared with smooth counterparts) and a higher radical production rate. The micromotors can propel autonomously in complex wastewater samples (400 μm s−1, 2% H2O2) using a biocompatible surfactant and obviating the need for expensive Pt catalysts. Such self-propelled micromotors act as highly efficient dynamic oxidation platforms that offer significantly shorter and more efficient water treatment processes, reducing the use of chemical reagents. The effective operation of the SW-Fe2O3/MnO2 micromotors is illustrated towards the oxidative degradation of mg L−1 levels of Remazol Brilliant blue and 4-chlorophenol. Factors influencing the micromachine-enhanced oxidation protocol, such as the pH, navigation time and number of motors, have been investigated. High degradation rates of ∼80% are obtained for both pollutants following 60 min treatment of spiked wastewater samples at pH 4.0–5.0. The unique magnetic properties of the outer Fe2O3 layer allow the reusability of the micromotors and its convenient recovery and disposal after treatment. Such attractive performance holds considerable promise for its application in large scale water treatment systems and for a myriad of environmental, industrial and security defense fields.

Graphical abstract: Carbon nanotubes-ferrite-manganese dioxide micromotors for advanced oxidation processes in water treatment

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jul 2018, accepted on 07 Nov 2018 and first published on 07 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00824H
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Advance Article
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    Carbon nanotubes-ferrite-manganese dioxide micromotors for advanced oxidation processes in water treatment

    R. Maria-Hormigos, M. Pacheco, B. Jurado-Sánchez and A. Escarpa, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00824H

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