Coal fly ash supported Co3O4 catalysts for phenol degradation using peroxymonosulfate
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Several fly ash (FA) samples derived from Australian (FA-WA) and Brazilian coals (FA-JL and FA-CH) were used as supports to prepare Co oxide (Co)-based catalysts. These Co/FA catalysts were tested in peroxymonosulfate activation for sulphate radical generation and phenol degradation in aqueous solution. The physicochemical properties of FA supports and Co/FA catalysts were characterised by N2 adsorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy coupling with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), elemental mapping, and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. It was found that the FA supports did not show adsorption of phenol and could not activate peroxymonosulfate for sulphate radical generation. However, fly ash supported Co oxide catalysts (Co/FA) presented higher activities in the activation of peroxymonosulfate for phenol degradation than bulk Co oxide and their activities varied depending on the properties of the fly ash supports. Co/FA-JL showed the highest activity while Co/FA-WA showed the lowest. Activation energies of phenol degradation on three Co/FA catalysts were obtained to be 47.0, 56.5, 56.0 kJ mol−1 for Co/FA-WA, Co/FA-JL and Co/FA-CH, respectively.
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