DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2221228120 ISSN:

A green edge-hosted zinc single-site heterogeneous catalyst for superior Fenton-like activity

Xiaoyong Yu, Hongzhi Liu, Yixuan Huang, Changlin Li, Liuning Kuang, Jinyu Zhong, Shuo Zhu, Yating Gou, Yunhang Wang, Yinqing Zhang, Guoqiang Shan, Zhengxin Lv, Shuo Zhang, Lingyan Zhu
  • Multidisciplinary

Developing green heterogeneous catalysts with excellent Fenton-like activity is critical for water remediation technologies. However, current catalysts often rely on toxic transitional metals, and their catalytic performance is far from satisfactory as alternatives of homogeneous Fenton-like catalysts. In this study, a green catalyst based on Zn single-atom was prepared in an ammonium atmosphere using ZIF−8 as a precursor. Multiple characterization analyses provided evidence that abundant intrinsic defects due to the edge sites were created, leading to the formation of a thermally stable edge-hosted Zn−N 4 single-atom catalyst (ZnN 4 −Edge). Density functional theory calculations revealed that the edge sites equipped the single-atom Zn with a super catalytic performance, which not only promoted decomposition of peroxide molecule (HSO 5 ) but also greatly lowered the activation barrier for OH generation. Consequently, the as-prepared ZnN 4 −Edge exhibited extremely high Fenton-like performance in oxidation and mineralization of phenol as a representative organic contaminant in a wide range of pH, realizing its quick detoxification. The atom-utilization efficiency of the ZnN 4 −Edge was ~10 4 higher than an equivalent amount of the control sample without edge sites (ZnN 4 ), and the turnover frequency was ~10 3 times of the typical benchmark of homogeneous catalyst (Co 2+ ). This study opens up a revolutionary way to rationally design and optimize heterogeneous catalysts to homogeneous catalytic performance for Fenton-like application.

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