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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 801694, 10 pages
Review Article

Heterogeneous Photo-Fenton Reaction Catalyzed by Nanosized Iron Oxides for Water Treatment

1Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 401122, China
2Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute, Guangzhou 510060, China

Received 7 June 2012; Accepted 31 July 2012

Academic Editor: Jiaguo Yu

Copyright © 2012 Chuan Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Great efforts have been exerted in overcoming the drawbacks of the Fenton reaction for water treatment applications. The drawbacks include pH confinement, handling of iron sludge, slow regeneration of Fe(II), and so forth. This paper highlights the recent developments in the heterogeneous photo-Fenton reaction which utilizes nanosized iron oxides as catalyst for maximizing the activity due to the enhanced physical or chemical properties brought about by the unique structures. This paper also summarizes the fundamentals of the Fenton reaction, which determine the inherent drawbacks and associated advances, to address the advantages of iron oxides and nanosized iron oxides. Tips for applying this method in water treatment are also provided. Given that the environmental effect of nanosized iron oxides is not yet well established, rapid research growth may occur in the near future to advance this promising technology toward water treatment once it is smartly coupled with conventional technologies.