Green synthesis of graphite-based photo-Fenton nanocatalyst from waste tar via a self-reduction and solvent-free strategy

Dong Li, Tianxue Yang, Zhengang Liu, Yu Xia, Zeliang Chen, Shengshu Yang, Chao Gai, Amit Bhatnagar, Yun Hau Ng, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Thermochemical conversion of biomass yields large quantities of tar as a by-product, which is a potential precursor for the synthesis of renewable carbon-based functional materials. In this study, high-performance photo-Fenton catalyst of graphite‑carbon-supported iron nanoparticles was synthesized using a self-reduction and solvent-free approach. The results showed that the tar-derived catalyst had unique properties including a defect-rich graphitic structure, high surface area, and an abundant porous structure resulting from the inherent properties of biomass tar. The iron nanoparticles were highly dispersed within the prepared catalysts and were stably anchored on the carbonaceous surface by the Fe–C bond. The prepared nanocatalyst showed the highest decomposition constant (91.87 × 10−3 min−1) for 20 mM H2O2, and 40 mg/L RhB can be completely degraded within 2 h under catalyst dosage of 1 g/L and H2O2 addition of 20 mM. The degradation mechanism under the photo-Fenton catalyst/H2O2/light system included the heterogeneous Fenton reaction of iron nanoparticles and photo-Fenton reaction of iron oxide, and the efficient RhB degradation was mainly ascribed to the heterogeneous Fenton reaction. In addition, recycling and leaching tests demonstrated that the photo-Fenton catalyst had excellent reusability and stability, where only 7.3% catalytic reactivity was reduced after five cycles. This work provided a green, sustainable, and facile approach for synthesizing photo-Fenton catalysts by value-added utilization of tar wastes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153772
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (Project No. 2018JZ0016 ). This study was also supported by the Hydrogen Energy Innovation Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)) ( NRF-2019M3E6A1064197 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biomass conversion
  • Carbonaceous materials
  • Green synthesis
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sustainable waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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