Title : Eco-friendly preparation of copper oxide graphene nanocomposites and their Fenton like activation of persulphate for the degradation of 4-chlorophenol
Facile preparation of graphene in an eco-friendly manner and development of its composites for enhanced catalytic performance is one of the main targets of researchers. Green synthesis of copper oxide/graphene nanocomposites are performed here by a simple hydrothermal treatment of copper precursor with an aqueous dispersion of graphene prepared by ball-milling graphite with sucrose and their application as catalysts in the Fenton like degradation of 4-chlorophenol using ammonium persulphate is investigated. The structure and morphology of the prepared copper oxide/graphene systems as well as the characteristics of the active sites responsible for the catalytic activity are analyzed through various characterization techniques. XRD analysis reveals that the prepared system contains Cu mainly in the form of CuO together with a minor amount of Cu2O as active sites responsible for the catalytic activity. More or less uniform distribution of copper oxide nanoparticles over graphene support and the homogeneity of the prepared samples were obtained by performing FESEM analysis and selected area mapping analysis. The uniformity in size and the spherical nature of the copper oxide nanoparticle that is decorated on the graphene sheets are visible from the TEM analysis. XPS analysis confirmed the existence of strong bonding interaction between Cu and graphene which further favoured the formation of the effective nanocomposite. The activity of the prepared systems in treating wastewater containing 4-chlorophenol is proved from the high efficiency of copper oxide/graphene nanocomposites in the Fenton like degradation of 4-chlorophenol. 100% of degradation of 1 mM 4-Chlorophenol (50 ml solution) is observed when using the best CuO/graphene nanocomposite under the selected reaction conditions of 0.05 g of the catalyst with 0.02 g of APS in 3 h reaction time.