This work reports the preparation of magnetic polymeric microspheres based on poly(methyl methacrylate) and the investigation of these materials as catalysts in heterogeneous Fenton processes for the decolorization of methyl orange (MO). The microspheres were prepared by polymerization of the magnetic material together with the monomers by aqueous suspension polymerization. The microspheres had specific surface area of 48.2 m2 g-1. Mossbauer data indicated that the magnetic material was a mixture of magnetite (31%), maghemite (21%), and goethite (48%). Fenton reactions were performed by varying the concentration of H2O2, pH, composite mass, and contact time. The highest color removal rates (around 80%) were reached at pH 3.0, 20% w/v of composite, 20 minutes contact time, and 10 ppm of H2O2. The composite could be reused during four cycles with removal efficiency above 50%. The results indicated that the adsorption and oxidation mechanisms act together determining the variation of the MO dye removal.
heterogeneous Fenton reactions; magnetic materials; methyl orange; poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres