Fabrication of magnetic trimetallic metal–organic frameworks for the rapid removal of tetracycline from water†
The metal–organic framework (MOF-74) series has the most open metal sites. The metal ions have different bonding strengths with the ligand in MOF-74 and the bond of the ligand can be successively broken to obtain highly active heteroparticles by controlling the temperature, which is difficult to achieve using traditional methods. Magnetic NiCo/Fe3O4-MOF-74, which is fabricated using trimetallic NiCoFe-MOF-74 as a precursor, is simple and rational in comparison with the traditional magnetic core and tunable MOF shell hybrid composites that are formed using a step-by-step assembly strategy. After thermal treatment under a specific atmosphere, NiCo/Fe3O4-MOF-74 shows higher stability, strong magnetism and more active metal sites compared to the original MOF. NiCo/Fe3O4-MOF-74 shows excellent enrichment capability for the removal of tetracycline, with a high removal efficiency that reached 94.1% within 5 min, which is much higher than that of NiCoFe-MOF-74. The main interaction between the adsorbent and analyte is most likely attributed to the open metal sites that can form a stable metal–ligand with the antibiotic molecules. Furthermore, the material can be reused five times without considerable loss. The prepared material has potential applications for removing antibiotics with high efficiency at low cost. Therefore, the experiments described in this study provide a route to a broad class of MOF-based materials for detecting organic contaminants.