Modulating mesoporous Co3O4 hollow nanospheres with oxygen vacancies for highly efficient peroxymonosulfate activation

Jian Hu, Xiangkang Zeng, Gen Wang, Binbin Qian, Yue Liu, Xiaoyi Hu, Brandon He, Lian Zhang, Xiwang Zhang

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55 Citations (Scopus)


The role of oxygen vacancy (VO) in catalyst is manifested to be positive in the Fenton-like process. However, rational modulation of VO with a simple strategy for the efficient Fenton-like catalysts remains desirable and challenging. Here a facile heat treatment method without any additives was demonstrated to introduce VO on mesoporous cobalt oxide (Co3O4) hollow nanospheres, which served as highly reactive and stable Fenton-like catalysts for recalcitrant organic pollutants (bisphenol A, BPA) degradation by activating peroxymonosulfate (PMS). The VO-rich Co3O4 nanospheres exhibited superior BPA removal efficiency with high BPA degradation rate (0.0232 min−1, 100 min). The concentration of VO in Co3O4 was proved to act as an important role for the PMS activating efficiency. A series of mechanism studies, including radical scavengers, chemical probes and electrochemical characterizations, were conducted to identify the active radicals generated by PMS activation. Singlet oxygen produced from the VO-based reaction pathway, rather than sulfate radical and hydroxyl radical, was unveiled to play a key role in the BPA degradation process. This work provided new insight into designing transition metal oxide-based Fenton-like catalysts with efficient and sustainable remediation of refractory organic contaminants in wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125869
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020


  • Cobalt oxide
  • Fenton-like process
  • Heat treatment
  • Oxygen vacancy
  • Singlet oxygen

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