Catalysis Letters

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

Synthesis and Application of Fe-Doped WO3 Nanoparticles for Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylparaben Using Visible–Light Radiation and H2O2

  • Eric Mwangi Ngigi
  • Philiswa Nosizo Nomngongo
  • Jane Catherine NgilaEmail author


Synthesis of WO3 and Fe-doped WO3 nanoparticles is done by use of Microwave irradiation technique. X-ray powder diffraction confirmed the formation of a monoclinic crystalline structure. The as-prepared samples are characterised by transmission electron microscope, Braunuer, Emmett and Teller, Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ultraviolet diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Confirmation of the morphology of the nanostructures showed ovoid-like form. The photocatalytic activity of WO3 and nominal percentage of Fe-doped WO3 (3, 5 and 10 wt%) are evaluated for the degradation of methylparaben (MeP) in aqueous solution after being irradiated with visible light. The results show that 5 wt% Fe–WO3 is the best dopant in the photodegradation of MeP at 50.8% with H2O2. A chemometric model analysis is applied to estimate both individual and interaction factors that included pH, contact time, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration and catalyst dosage. The optimal conditions at pH 3, 10 mg, 5 wt% Fe–WO3 and 120 min are achieved.

Graphical Abstract


Methylparaben Microwave Nanostructures Photodegradation Dopant 



The authors wish to acknowledge the Water Research Commission (Grant No. K5/2563) and the Department of Applied Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg for partial funding. The authors also thank the Spectra Analytical Facility, the University of Johannesburg for the availability of XRD, SEM, TEM analysis and Department of Physics for XPS analysis.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Mwangi Ngigi
    • 1
  • Philiswa Nosizo Nomngongo
    • 1
  • Jane Catherine Ngila
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied ChemistryUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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