This study investigated a heterogeneous photo-catalysis system by introducing a novel brick supported iron oxide (denoted as B1) for the heterogeneous photoassisted degradation of Reactive Black 5 (RB5) at pH value from 3 to 7 in a three-phase (gas–liquid–solid) fluidized bed reactor (3P-FBR). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and N2 adsorption/desorption were used to characterize the B1 catalyst. The in situ formation of hydrogen peroxide and the depletion of oxalic acid by photochemical cycle of Fe(III)-oxalate complex under UVA light (λ = 365 nm) were studied. The effects of the solution pH and the concentration of oxalic acid on the degradation of RB5 are elucidated. About 90% decolourization was measured and 80% of the total organic carbon (TOC) was eliminated at pH 5.0 after 120 min for 20 mg/L RB5 in presence of 10 g/L B1 catalyst, 30 mg/L oxalic acid under 15 W UVA light. A mechanism for the photocatalytic degradation of RB5 over B1 catalyst is proposed.

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