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Copper(II) oxide nanoparticles coated cellulose sponge—an effective heterogeneous catalyst for the reduction of toxic organic dyes

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Discharge of unprocessed coloured waste water from industries gives rise to water contamination. In the current work, we propose the application of CuO nanoparticles supported on cellulose kitchen wipe sponge as a heterogeneous catalyst for the reductive decolourization of various toxic cationic and anionic dye molecules. The catalytic activity of the CuO nanoparticles under normal light for reduction has been examined in which sunlight irradiation is not necessitated. The CuO nanoparticles were synthesized by a simple wet chemical method and characterized using High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM), SEM, EDX, XRD, XPS and TGA analyses. In the presence of CuO@CS catalyst and sodium borohydride, decolourization reaction of dyes such as acid red, acid green, methylene blue, rhodamine B and solochrome black-T was carried out. The catalytic reduction behaves as a pseudo-first-order reaction and is found to be superior in comparison with other reported catalysts in terms of reaction velocity. The reduction reaction can be further accelerated by increasing the reaction temperature. The developed catalyst drives the reduction faster on exposing the reaction mixture to sunlight confirming the usage of the catalyst at normal light and sunlight conditions. The catalyst retains 100% efficiency even after 5 cycles and remains suitable even for further use. Thus, a low-cost heterogeneous catalyst has been successfully developed and employed to decolourize various dye molecules in short duration with good recyclability and therefore can be used as the potential candidate in environmental remediation.

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Correspondence to Swarnalatha Venkatanarasimhan.

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Nagarajan, D., Venkatanarasimhan, S. Copper(II) oxide nanoparticles coated cellulose sponge—an effective heterogeneous catalyst for the reduction of toxic organic dyes. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 22958–22970 (2019).

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  • Heterogeneous catalyst
  • CuO nanoparticles
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Dye decolourization
  • Catalytic reduction