Heterogeneous photo-Fenton process using iron-modified regional clays as catalysts: photonic and quantum efficiencies

  • María A. De León
  • Marta Sergio
  • Juan Bussi
  • Guadalupe B. Ortiz de la Plata
  • Orlando M. AlfanoEmail author
Research Article


A regional raw clay was used as the starting material to prepare iron-pillared clays with different iron contents. The catalytic activity of these materials was tested in the heterogeneous photo-Fenton process, applied to the degradation of 2-chlorophenol chosen as the model pollutant. Different catalyst loads between 0.2 and 1.0 g L−1 and pH values between 3.0 and 7.0 were studied. The local volumetric rate of photon absorption (LVRPA) in the reactor was evaluated solving the radiative transfer equation applying the discrete ordinate method and using the optical properties of the catalyst suspensions. The photonic and quantum efficiencies of the 2-chlorophenol degradation depend on both the catalyst load and the iron content of the catalyst. The higher values for these parameters, 0.080 mol Einstein−1 and 0.152 mol Einstein−1, respectively, were obtained with 1.0 g L−1 of the catalyst with the higher iron content (17.6%). For the mineralization process, photonic and quantum efficiencies depend mainly on the catalyst load. Therefore, it was possible to employ a natural and cheap resource from the region to obtain pillared clay-based catalysts to degrade organic pollutants in water.


Heterogeneous photo-Fenton Clay Fe-PILC 2-Chlorophenol Quantum efficiency Photonic efficiency 



The authors thank Mr. Antonio Negro for his invaluable assistance in the experimental work.

Funding information

This research was funded by Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica and Programa de Desarrollo de las Ciencias Básicas of Uruguay, and Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científíca y Tecnológica of Argentina.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María A. De León
    • 1
  • Marta Sergio
    • 1
  • Juan Bussi
    • 1
  • Guadalupe B. Ortiz de la Plata
    • 2
  • Orlando M. Alfano
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Fisicoquímica de Superficies, DETEMA, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.INTECUniversidad Nacional del Litoral-CONICETSanta FeArgentina

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