Catalytic activation of hydrogen peroxide by Cr2AlC MAX phase under ultrasound waves for a treatment of water contaminated with organic pollutants
This study aims to investigate the sonocatalytic activation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) using Cr2AlC MAX phase prepared by the reactive sintering process. The hexagonal structure of the crystalline MAX phase was confirmed by X-ray diffraction. Moreover, the compacted layered structure of the MAX phase was observed via scanning electron microscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Under the desired operating conditions, Cr2AlC MAX phase (0.75 g/L) showed suitable potential to activate H2O2 (1 mmol/L) under sonication, thereby allowing a considerable removal efficiency for various organic pollutants, including dimethyl phthalate (69.1%), rifampin (94.5%), hydroxychloroquine (100%), and acid blue 7 (91.5%) with initial concentration of 15 mg/L within 120 min of treatment. Kinetic analysis proved that the degradation reaction followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. Scavenging tests demonstrated that hydroxyl radicals and singlet oxygen were effective species during degradation. Furthermore, a probable mechanism for dimethyl phthalate degradation was suggested according to gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses. The obtained results confirmed the capability of the triple Cr2AlC/H2O2/US process as a promising method for treating contaminated water.