Continuous-Flow Catalytic Degradation of Hexacyanoferrate Ion through Electron Transfer Induction in a 3D-Printed Flow Reactor


The benefits of 3D-printing technology in the manufacturing of laboratory equipment, in particular catalytic applications, have recently been brought to the limelight. In this paper, continuous-flow reaction devices consisting of syringe pumps and flow reactors were fabricated using a 3D-printing technique which aims at circumventing the high cost of procuring the convectional reactors for catalytic reactions. Mesoporous manganese metal oxide (MnMMO) and mesoporous cobalt metal oxide (CoMMO) catalysts were synthesized and fully characterized. The catalytic activity of the prepared nanocatalysts was evaluated in a continuous-flow operation using an in-house 3D-printed flow device for the reduction of hexacyanoferrate ion into a useful intermediate compound industrially. Different reaction parameters such as flow rates, temperature, and catalyst amount were investigated for the system’s optimization. The result showed an impressive output with an outstanding conversion of 94.1% hexacyanoferrate ion in 6-minute reaction time. Also, the excellent stability of five-run reusability on hexacyanoferrate ion was performed in a safe, faster, and well-controlled microenvironment.

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We acknowledge the South African National Research Foundation {grant specific unique reference number (UID) 111710} for their support financially. We appreciate the University of Johannesburg for its funding as well as the availability of TEM in the spectra laboratory for analysis. We also thank Mr D. Harris and Dr. R. Meyer of Shimadzu South Africa (Pty) Ltd. for their instruments.

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Correspondence to Reinout Meijboom.

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This invited article is part of a special topical focus in the Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance on Additive Manufacturing. The issue was organized by Dr. William Frazier, Pilgrim Consulting, LLC; Mr. Rick Russell, NASA; Dr. Yan Lu, NIST; Dr. Brandon D. Ribic, America Makes; and Caroline Vail, NSWC Carderock.

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Onisuru, O.R., Alimi, O.A., Potgieter, K. et al. Continuous-Flow Catalytic Degradation of Hexacyanoferrate Ion through Electron Transfer Induction in a 3D-Printed Flow Reactor. J. of Materi Eng and Perform (2021).

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  • 3D-printing
  • continuous-flow reaction
  • hexacyanoferrate
  • mesoporous metal oxide
  • microfluidic reactor