Magnetically recyclable copper doped core-shell Fe3O4@TiO2@Cu nanocomposites for wastewater remediation

Environ Technol. 2021 Sep 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/09593330.2021.1954094. Online ahead of print.


The smart magnetic nanocomposites have been doped to diminish the energy bandgap of the photocatalyst and to permit recovering of the photocatalyst after the wastewater treatment. The core-shell Fe3O4@TiO2 nanocomposite was synthesised by the hydrothermal method using titanium butoxide as a precursor. The nanocomposites were examined by XRD, VSM, UV-Vis, and TEM techniques. The energy band gap of core-shell Fe3O4@TiO2 nanocomposite is 3.5 eV. Doping of copper with a concentration of 1, 2, and 3 wt% into TiO2 shell was done to increase the performance of photocatalyst. The Fe3O4/PVP@TiO2@Cu photocatalyst was used for dye wastewater treatment. The energy bandgap decreased to 2.2 eV after copper doping into the TiO2 shell specified that copper-doped nanocomposite could be an outstanding photocatalyst. The photocatalytic activity was carried out using methylene blue(MB) and methyl orange (MO) under sunlight. About 65% of methylene blue and 85% of methyl orange degradation was done using Cu (3wt %) doped Fe3O4@TiO2 nanocomposite. These photocatalysts can be easily withdrawn with a magnetic field. The Fe3O4/PVP@TiO2@Cu photocatalyst has been demonstrated to be very functional or effective for the degradation of MB and MO dyes using solar illumination.

Keywords: Fe3O4@TiO2; dye; hydrothermal; nanocomposite; photocatalyst.