A facile sulfur-assisted method to synthesize porous alveolate Fe/g-C3N4 catalysts with ultra-small cluster and atomically dispersed Fe sites

Sufeng An, Guanghui Zhang, Jiaqiang Liu, Keyan Li, Gang Wan, Yan Liang, Donghui Ji, Jeffrey T. Miller, Chunshan Song, Wei Liu, Zhongmin Liu, Xinwen Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Heterogeneous catalysts with ultra-small clusters and atomically dispersed (USCAD) active sites have gained increasing attention in recent years. However, developing USCAD catalysts with high-density metal sites anchored in porous nanomaterials is still challenging. Here, through the template-free S-assisted pyrolysis of low-cost Fe-salts with melamine (MA), porous alveolate Fe/g-C3N4 catalysts with high-density (Fe loading up to 17.7 wt%) and increased USCAD Fe sites were synthesized. The presence of a certain amount of S species in the Fe-salts/MA system plays an important role in the formation of USCAD S-Fe-salt/CN catalysts; the S species act as a “sacrificial carrier” to increase the dispersion of Fe species through Fe-S coordination and generate porous alveolate structure by escaping in the form of SO2 during pyrolysis. The S-Fe-salt/CN catalysts exhibit greatly promoted activity and reusability for degrading various organic pollutants in advanced oxidation processes compared to the corresponding Fe-salt/CN catalysts, due to the promoted accessibility of USCAD Fe sites by the porous alveolate structure. This S-assisted method exhibits good feasibility in a large variety of S species (thiourea, S powder, and NH4SCN) and Fe salts, providing a new avenue for the low-cost and large-scale synthesis of high-density USCAD metal/g-C3N4 catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1207
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Journal of Catalysis
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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