Degradation and mineralization of 4-tert-butylphenol in water using Fe-doped TiO2 catalysts

Ardak Makhatova, Gaukhar Ulykbanova, Shynggys Sadyk, Kali Sarsenbay, Timur Sh. Atabaev, Vassilis J. Inglezakis, Stavros G. Poulopoulos

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In the present work, the photocatalytic degradation and mineralization of 4-tert-butylphenol in water was studied using Fe-doped TiO2 nanoparticles under UV light irradiation. Fe-doped TiO2 catalysts (0.5, 1, 2 and 4 wt.%) were prepared using wet impregnation and characterized via SEM/EDS, XRD, XRF and TEM, while their photocatalytic activity and stability was attended via total organic carbon, 4-tert-butyl phenol, acetic acid, formic acid and leached iron concentrations measurements. The effect of H2O2 addition was also examined. The 4% Fe/TiO2 demonstrated the highest photocatalytic efficiency in terms of total organic carbon removal (86%). The application of UV/H2O2 resulted in 31% total organic carbon removal and 100% 4-t-butylphenol conversion, however combining Fe/TiO2 catalysts with H2O2 under UV irradiation did not improve the photocatalytic performance. Increasing the content of iron on the catalyst from 0.5 to 4% considerably decreased the intermediates formed and increased the production of carbon dioxide. The photocatalytic degradation of 4-tert-butylphenol followed pseudo-second order kinetics. Leaching of iron was observed mainly in the case of 4% Fe/TiO2, but it was considered negligible taking into account the iron load on catalysts. The electric energy per order was found in the range of 28–147 kWh/m3/order and increased with increasing the iron content of the catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19284
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • photocatalytic degradation
  • photocatalytic activity
  • photocatalytic performance


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