College of Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Iron nanoparticles encapsulated within boron and nitrogen co-doped carbon nanoshell (B/N-C@Fe) were synthesized through a novel and green pyrolysis process using melamine, boric acid, and ferric nitrate as the precursors. The surface morphology, structure, and composition of the B/N-C@Fe materials were thoroughly investigated. The materials were employed as novel catalysts for the activation of potassium monopersulfate triple salt (PMS) for the degradation of levofloxacin (LFX). Linear sweep voltammograms and quenching experiments were used to identify the mechanisms of PMS activation and LFX oxidation by B/N-C@Fe, where SO4- as well as HO were proved to be the main radicals for the reaction processes. This study also discussed how the fluvic acid and inorganic anions in the aqueous solutions affected the degradation of LFX and use this method to simulate the degradation in the real wastewater. The synthesized materials showed a high efficiency (85.5% of LFX was degraded), outstanding stability, and excellent reusability (77.7% of LFX was degraded in the 5th run) in the Fenton-like reaction of LFX. In view of these advantages, B/N-C@Fe have great potentials as novel strategic materials for environmental catalysis.