Prof. Huan He and Prof. Limin Zhang published a research paper in Chemical Engineering Journal (2021, 128793)
Persulfate (PS) is extensively employed as an oxidant to develop the sulfate radical-based advanced oxidation processes for removing organic pollutants and various PS activation methods have been explored. Iohexol (IOH), as a typical iodinated X-ray contrast media, poses a threat to human health and ecological environment, which is difficult to be removed by conventional treatment methods. In our work, a photocatalytic coupling persulfate system was constructed for efficient IOH degradation. A novel binary photocatalyst of biochar loaded with perylene diimide (PDI/BC, PB) was successfully prepared via a one-pot water bath heating method, which achieved BC acidification and PDI self-assembly simultaneously. Different mass ratios of BC and PDI lead to variance in average particle size, electronegativity, bandgap width and electron/hole separation efficiency. The optimized efficiency of 10 mg/L IOH on PB-9 (PDI:BC=1:9, w/w) reached 100% in 2 h with 1.5 mM sodium persulfate under visible light irradiation. Based on the results of trapping experiments and electron paramagnetic resonance, holes and hydroxyl radicals were the dominant active species and the free radical chain reaction and mutual conversion reaction of active species occurred. The amide hydrolysis, amine and C-OH oxidation, hydrogen extraction, deiodination and ·OH addition were observed during the degradation process. Density functional theory calculation was conducted to confirm the free radical attack sites. The findings of this work demonstrate that metal-free supramolecular loaded photocatalyst has the potential for application in the removal of organic pollutants for water remediation.