Magnetically Separable CoFe2O4/CuO Photocatalyst for Degradation of Methylene Blue under Visible Light

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department Chemical, Petroleum and Gas Engineering, Semnan University, 35131-19111, Semnan, Iran.

2 Department of nanotechnology, faculty of new science and technology, semnan university


Currently, the need for more efficient materials that work in the visible light spectrum for water treatment has been increasing. A CoFe2O4/CuO nanocomposite was successfully synthesized by co-precipitation method. The obtained nanocomposite was characterized by XRD, DRS, FT-IR and FESEM. X-ray diffraction data showed that the obtained nanoparticle was composed of CoFe2O4 and CuO with average crystal size of 36nm. The optical absorption spectrum of the CuO/CoFe2O4 nanocomposite displayed a band gap of 2.75 eV. The materials showed photocatalytic activity due to the presence of Cu, associated with the magnetic activity of CoFe2O4, which is useful for the separation and recovery of the photocatalyst after use in an oxidative process. Photocatalytic activity was studied by degradation of methylene blue under visible light. Compared with pure CuO, the CoFe2O4/CuO nanocomposite exhibited improved photodegradation performance (about five more time). To optimize process and obtain a mathematical model, CCD (with three factors at five levels) was used. The optimal conditions were determined where the amount of photocatalyst= 1 g/L, irradiation time= 140 min and the concentration of MB= 15 ppm with optimum degradation efficiency as 84.98%. The synthesized CoFe2O4/CuO nanocomposite can be potentially used as a visible-light responsive magnetically separable photocatalyst.


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