Starch-assisted sol–gel synthesis of magnetic CuFe2O4 powder as photo-Fenton catalysts in the presence of oxalic acid
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Magnetic photo-Fenton catalysts based on spinel CuFe2O4 were successfully prepared by the starch-assisted sol–gel method. Various synthetic conditions such as annealing temperatures (700, 800 and 900 °C) and molar ratios of Cu2+/Fe3+/C6H10O5 in the precursor solution (from 1:2:2 to 1:2:4) were, respectively, used in order to study the influences of annealing temperatures and precursor starch contents on the magnetic and catalytic properties of CuFe2O4 powders. The photo-Fenton catalytic activity was evaluated via the degradation of methylene blue under ultraviolet and visible irradiation with H2C2O4 as a new oxidizing agent. According to the results, when the annealing temperature increased to 800 °C, the spinel CuFe2O4 phase amount was increased, which strongly enhances the photo-Fenton catalytic performance. However, above 800 °C, the catalytic activity was reduced, due to the increase in particle size. The starch content also affected the surface Cu2+ content and the particle size of catalysts. The catalyst prepared at 800 °C with the molar Cu2+/Fe3+/C6H10O5 ratio of 1:2:3 presented the best photo-Fenton performance, owing to its highest surface Cu2+ content. This catalyst also exhibits ferromagnetic properties (saturation magnetization of 25.836 emu/g and coercivity of 1010.23 Oe), which allows them to be easily separated from the solution by a magnet.
KeywordsCuFe2O4 Magnetic powder Photo-Fenton catalysis H2C2O4 Starch-assisted sol–gel method Ultraviolet A irradiation Particle size
The authors wish to appreciate all who assisted in this work.
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