Synthesis and Use of Silica Xerogels Doped with Iron as a Photocatalyst to Pharmaceuticals Degradation in Water
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Silica xerogelsIron-doped xerogelsPhotocatalystsPharmaceutical degradationWater purificationSolar photolysis
García-Reyes, C.B... [et al.]. Synthesis and Use of Silica Xerogels Doped with Iron as a Photocatalyst to Pharmaceuticals Degradation in Water. Catalysts 2022, 12, 1341. [https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12111341]
SponsorshipJunta de Andalucia; European Commission; Spanish Government P18-RT-4193; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACyT) CVU 49215
The main objective of this study was to assess the photoactive properties of iron-doped silica xerogels under solar radiation. For this purpose, silica xerogels (XGS) synthesized by the sol-gel method were doped with Fe (III) by two routes: impregnation and polymerization. XGS samples were texturally and chemically characterized by N2 adsorption, XRD, FTIR, Raman, SEM-EDX, DRS, and PL, evidencing the suitability of using XGS substrates to host iron clusters on their surface with total compatibility. Chlorphenamine (CPM), ciprofloxacin (CIP), and ranitidine (RNT) were used as model compounds. The degradation of the molecules was made under simulated solar radiation testing the synthesis pad, load, material size, and reuse. It was found that XGS doped with Fe by the impregnation route (XGS-Fe-Im) were able to completely degrade CPM and RNT in 30 min and 10 min, respectively, whilst for CIP it achieved the removal of 60% after 1 h of solar radiation exposure, outperforming parent materials and solar radiation by itself. The study of the degradation mechanism elucidated a major influence from the action of HO radicals. The present investigation offers a potential route of application of XGS Fe-doped materials for the removal of emerging concern contaminants under near real-world conditions.