Dual Role of Silicon-based Matrices in Electron Exchange Matrices for Waste Treatment

Noy Cohen, Dror Shamir, Haya Kornweitz, Yael Albo, Ariela Burg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Para chloro aniline (PCA) is a common toxic pollutant found in pharmaceutical wastewater. Our study suggests a novel PCA treatment method based on a heterogeneous advanced oxidation process (AOP) that proceeds in an electron exchange matrix (EEM) prepared by the incorporation of redox-active specie in silica matrices using the sol-gel synthesis route. The results, which are supported by DFT calculations, show that the silicon skeleton of the EEM has two important roles, both as a porous matrix that hosts the redox species and as an oxidant species involved in the AOP. The calculations indicate that the formation of a radical on the nitrogen is favored. The suggested mechanism could shed light on the AOP, which proceeds in a heterogenous system, and on its application inside the understudied EEMs that, until now, have been a virtual black box. A better understanding of the mechanism could lead to improved control over the heterogeneous processes that can play a critical role in industries with the need to treat small amounts of toxic compounds at low concentrations, such as in the pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202300130
Issue number18
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. ChemPhysChem published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


The authors thank Dr. Dani Shahar of BioAnalytics, Ltd, Ms. Elena Doubijansky, Dr. Igor Mokmanov, Dr. Einat Nativ-Roth, and Dr. Nathalia Froumin from the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology for their valuable analytical assistance. We acknowledge the Ariel HPC Center at Ariel University for providing computing resources that have contributed to the research results reported in this paper.

FundersFunder number
Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology
Ariel University


    • DFT calculations
    • Electron exchange matrix
    • PCA
    • Sol-gel matrix
    • Waste treatment


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