Microwave enhanced Fenton-like process for degradation of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) using Pb-BiFeO3/rGO as heterogeneous catalyst

Shuo Li, Guangshan Zhang, Wen Zhang, Heshan Zheng, Weiyu Zhu, Nan Sun, Yongjie Zheng, Peng Wang

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123 Scopus citations


Hybrid nanostructured materials play an increasing role in environmental applications. This study developed a hybrid nanocomposite (Pb-BFO/rGO) using a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method, which grafted Pb-doped BiFeO3 (BFO) nanoparticles on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sheets. Pb-BFO/rGO was used as a heterogeneous catalyst in a microwave enhanced Fenton-like process (MW-Fenton-like) for the decomposition of perfluoroocatanoic acid (PFOA), a perfluorinated compound present in water bodies with high bioaccumulation and toxicity for human being. The results reveal that Pb-BFO/rGO has large specific surface area (∼84.2 m2 g−1), small crystallite sizes (∼3.3 nm) and multiple functional groups such as carboxyl groups and Fe-O groups. Compared with the bare BFO and Pb-BFO, Pb-BFO/rGO showed greater catalytic efficiencies for H2O2 activation for PFOA degradation with the removal ratio of 90.0% from 30.0 mg L−1 to 50.0 mg L−1 within 5.0 min in the MW-Fenton-like process. Microwave irradiation was shown to significantly influence the degradation of PFOA through energy transfer and cross-coupling reactions. Pb-BFO/rGO absorbed the microwave energy, which facilitated the decomposition of H2O2 and the generation of hydroxy radicals ([rad]OH), which is responsible for the PFOA degradation. The degradation pathway of PFOA was investigated by detecting the degradation byproducts using UPLC-MS/MS and ICP/MS. Five kinds of short-chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids and fluoride ion were identified. The overall findings provide new insight into the novel hybrid catalysis for Fenton-like and other water treatment applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-764
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Oct 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Degradation mechanisms
  • Fenton-like
  • Microwave
  • PFOA
  • Pb-BFO/rGO


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