Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 34, pp 34190–34199 | Cite as

Activation of peroxymonosulfate by Fe-N complexes embedded within SBA-15 for removal of organic contaminants via production of singlet oxygen

  • Qunfeng Yang
  • Nanzhengfang Jia
  • Chensi Shen
  • Jianqing Ma
  • Yuezhong WenEmail author
Research Article


Persulfates are recognized as promising oxidants and an alternative to Fenton reaction for water treatment. However, activation methods in hand restrict the practical application. Herein, we explore the possibility of Fe-N complexes being a catalyst for persulfate activation for the first time. The catalyst denoted as Fe-Im-SBA was synthesized from ferric chloride, imidazole, and SBA-15 at high temperature. The internal pore structure of Fe-Im-SBA was maintained well; Fe, N and C elements are evenly distributed on the catalyst. This catalyst presents an extraordinarily catalytic activity for Rh B removal by PMS activation with a removal rate of Rh B that reached up to 97.0% in the first 5 min. It also performed well in a wide pH range with complete removal of Rh B in pH ranged from 0.5 to 10, suggesting the stability of this catalyst in both acidic and alkaline conditions. It also showed high adaptability to degrade different kinds of pollutants, which could give an attractive advantage of Fe-Im-SBA for environmental implications. Through X-ray absorption spectroscopies analysis, it shows that the active sites of Fe-Im-SBA are composed of Fe-N4 sites and Fe2–N2 sites. 1O2 were proved to generate in the Fe-Im-SBA/PMS system and serve as the major ROS. Meanwhile, graphitic carbon can accelerate the transfer of electrons, which may also be the reason for its high catalytic performance.


Fe-N complexes Catalyst Peroxymonosulfate Activation Degradation 



The authors acknowledge the financial support by the National Natural Science Foundations of China (NSFC, No. 21876150 and 21677124). We also thank the staff at beamlines BL14W at the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) for providing the beam time and data analysis.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3323_MOESM1_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 79 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qunfeng Yang
    • 1
  • Nanzhengfang Jia
    • 1
  • Chensi Shen
    • 2
  • Jianqing Ma
    • 1
  • Yuezhong Wen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Health, College of Environmental and Resource SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

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