Plasma-deposition of α-FeOOH particles on biochar using a gliding arc discharge in humid air: a green and sustainable route for producing oxidation catalysts†
Non-thermal atmospheric plasma of the gliding arc type was used as a tool for goethite-on-biochar hybrid material preparation. Biochars were first prepared by carbonizing raffia bamboo (the leafstalk of raffia palm) pith at 300 °C (BC3), 500 °C (BC5) and 700 °C (BC7). A suspension of each biochar in Fe2+ aqueous solution was then exposed to a plasma discharge burning in humid air. α-FeOOH particles were thus formed and spontaneously deposited on the biochar surface. In order to investigate the effect of plasma species on the support during goethite deposition, biochars were also treated with plasma in the absence of Fe2+ ions and then characterized. Results revealed a substantial hydroxylation and slight N-doping of biochar after plasma treatment. The prepared composite materials were tested in oxidative degradation of nitroresorcinol. The catalytic performances were in the order Fe-BC3 < Fe-BC7 < Fe-BC5 according to the abatement efficiency and half-time values obtained for each catalyst. This study establishes that waste biomass and atmospheric air can be simultaneously valorised for green production of heterogeneous catalysts.