The content of active components in magnetic biochar, especially Fe(II), is closely related to its activation performance. Therefore, improving Fe(II) content in magnetic biochar is an ideal strategy to enhance the activation performance of magnetic biochar. In this study, the potassium-doped magnetic biochar was prepared and employed to activate persulfate for degradation of metronidazole. The degradation efficiency of metronidazole in potassium-doped magnetic biochar/persulfate system was 98.4%, which was 13.1 times higher than that in magnetic biochar/persulfate system. Free radicals quenching experiments and electron spin resonance analyses confirmed that surface-bound free radicals were responsible for metronidazole degradation followed the order of 1O2 > OH > SO4− > O2−. The doping of magnetic biochar with potassium increased its Fe(II) content, approximately 3.1 times higher than that of pristine magnetic biochar. The differences in Fe(II) content between potassium-doped magnetic biochar and magnetic biochar were the key reasons for the activation performance differences. Based on the ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-quadrupole tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometer, the primary degradation intermediates of metronidazole were identified, and possible degrading pathways were proposed. Overall, this work provides an effective strategy to improve the activation performance of magnetic biochar.
- Magnetic biochar
- Free radicals