In this work, the activation effect of vacuum thermal treatment on MIL-101(Fe) (MIL: Materials of Institute Lavoisier) was investigated for the first time. It demonstrated that vacuum thermal activation could accelerate the activation of persulfate (PS) by MIL-101(Fe), and the enhancement of the catalytic capacity of MIL-101(Fe) was mainly attributed to the change in the FeII/FeIII mixed-valence center. The results of the SEM and XRD showed that vacuum thermal activation had a negligible effect on the crystal structure and particle morphology of MIL-101(Fe). Meanwhile, the higher temperature of vacuum thermal activation caused a higher relative content ratio of FeII/FeIII. A widely used azo dye, X-3B, was chosen as the probe molecule to investigate the catalytic performance of all samples. The results showed that the activated samples could remove X-3B more effectively, and the sample activated at 150 °C without regeneration could effectively activate PS to remove X-3B for at least 5 runs and approximately 900 min. This work highlights the often-overlooked activation effect of vacuum thermal treatment and provides a simple way to improve the catalytic capacity and reusability of MIL-101(Fe) which is beneficial for the application of MIL-101(Fe)/PS systems in azo dye wastewater treatment.
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