Discovering a Herbicide Terminator: The Role of Metals in Eliminating Glyphosate by Metal-Organic Frameworks

18 October 2023, Version 1


The impact of metals within a family of isostructural metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) on the adsorption and photodegradation of the herbicide glyphosate (GP) is presented in this study. Four MOFs, namely Sc-TBAPy, Al-TBAPy, Y-TBAPy, and Fe-TBAPy (TBAPy: 1,3,6,8-tetrakis(p-benzoic acid)pyrene), were characterized and evaluated for their ability to remediate GP from water. Among these materials, Sc-TBAPy demonstrates superior performance in both the adsorption and degradation of GP. Upon light irradiation for 5 min, Sc-TBAPy completely degrades 100% of GP in a 1.5 mM solution. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy reveals that Sc-TBAPy exhibits enhanced charge transfer character compared to the other MOFs, as well as suppressed formation of emissive excimers that could impede photocatalysis. This finding was further supported by hydrogen evolution half-reaction (HER) experiments, which demonstrated Sc-TBAPy’s superior catalytic activity for water splitting. In addition to its faster adsorption and more efficient photodegradation of GP, Sc-TBAPy also exhibits selective oxidation of GP, avoiding the formation of toxic aminomethylphosphonic acid observed with the other M3+-TBAPy MOFs. To investigate the selectivity observed with Sc-TBAPy, electron spin resonance, depleted oxygen conditions, and solvent exchange with D2O were employed to elucidate the role of different reactive oxygen species on GP photodegradation. The findings indicate that singlet oxygen (1O2) plays a critical role in the selective photodegradation pathway achieved by Sc-TBAPy. Introduction


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