Photo-Fenton abatement of aqueous organics using metal-organic frameworks: An advancement from benchmark zeolite

Matthew J. MacDonald, Dong Wan Cho, Iris K.M. Yu, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Alex C.K. Yip

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A new and environmentally benign photocatalyst is introduced in this study, which was synthesized via incipient wetness impregnation onto MIL-47(V) using an ethanolic Fe(III) chloride solution. The resultant materials were characterized by XRD, FE-SEM, and HR-TEM analyses. The photocatalytic capability of Fe/MIL-47 towards removal of methylene blue (MB) was evaluated in comparison to MIL-53(Al), Cu/MIL-47, and Fe/zeolite-Y. The unmodified MIL-47 achieved 55% MB removal after 20-min exposure to UV/H2O2, through photodegradation as the dominant mechanism. Incorporation of Fe species into MIL-47 significantly increased the MB removal rate by 2.4-fold and accomplished nearly complete removal (98.2%) in 60 min, outcompeting the performance of Cu/MIL-47 and Fe/zeolite-Y. Based on the results of XRD, the impregnation of Fe retained the crystalline characteristics of MIL-47. The significance of temperature, catalyst dose, pH, and molar ratio of H2O2:MB was also evaluated in governing the photocatalytic activity of Fe/MIL-47. The reusability of Fe/MIL-47 was evidenced through its repetitive uses in MB photodegradation. The current work highlighted the potential of Fe impregnation for modification of MOFs in order to fabricate highly efficient and water-stable heterogeneous photocatalyst for degradation of organic pollutants. With the use of an economical and environmentally safe reagent (i.e., Fe), robust photocatalyst can exhibit high sustainability to warrant clean environmental remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018


  • Fenton reaction
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Iron catalyst
  • Methylene blue
  • MIL-47 MOFs
  • Photocatalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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