MJFAS 11-2015-148

Copper oxide supported on graphene for phodegradation of Rhodamine B

In recent years, dyes are one of the major sources of the water contamination that lead to environmental
problems. For instance, Rhodamine B (RhB) which was extensively used as a colorant in textile
industries is toxic and carcinogenic. Among many techniques, photocatalytic degradation become the
promising one to remove those dyes from industrial wastewater. Recently, graphene has shown
outstanding performance in this application due to its intrinsic electron delocalisation which promotes
electron transport between composite photocatalyst and pollutant molecules. While, copper oxide (CuO)
is well-known has a lower bandgap energies compared to other semiconductors. Therefore, in this study,
copper oxide supported on graphene (CuO/G) was prepared and its photocatalytic activity was tested on
degradation of RhB. The catalysts were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Fourier
Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. The results showed that the interaction between copper and
graphene support could enhance the photocatalytic activity. The 5 wt% CuO/G was found to give the
highest degradation (95%) of 10 mg L-1 of RhB solution at pH 7 using 1 g L-1 catalyst after 4 hours
under visible light irradiation. The photodegradation followed the pseudo first-order Langmuir-
Hinshelwood kinetic model. This study demonstrated that the CuO/G has a potential to be used in
photocatalytic degradation of various organic pollutants.