MgFe2O4/CNTs nanocomposite: synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic activity

Abstract

Magnesium ferrite is a visible light absorber, and when combined with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), it can lead to low electron–hole recombination rates, thus improving its photocatalytic activity. In this work, a novel MgFe2O4/CNTs nanocomposite catalyst has been synthesized via anchoring MgFe2O4 nanoparticles onto MWCNTs surface by a sol–gel and microwave-assisted route. The prepared catalyst was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis and vibrating scanning magnetometry. MgFe2O4 nanoparticles showed a cubic inverse spinel ferrite structure, while MgFe2O4/CNTs nanohybrids showed combinations of both structures. Morphology studies including Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis confirmed a 40 m2 g−1 specific surface area with narrow mesoporous size distribution for the MgFe2O4/CNTs nanocomposite. The photocatalytic performance of the new catalyst was assessed by photodegradation of methylene blue (MB). The experimental results demonstrated that MgFe2O4/CNTs exhibited strong photocatalytic activity, catalysing the photooxidation of about 98% of MB in 25 min under sunlight.

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Acknowledgements

The authors highly appreciate the unlimited support introduced by Professor Peter J. S. Foot Kingston University London. Great thanks go to the Dept. of Industrial Chemistry College of Science and Dept. of Petroleum & Gas Refining Engineering College of Petroleum Processes Engineering Tikrit University Iraq.

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Correspondence to Omer Yasin Thayee Al-Janabi.

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Waheed, I.F., Al-Janabi, O.Y.T., Ibrahim, A.K. et al. MgFe2O4/CNTs nanocomposite: synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic activity. Int J Ind Chem 11, 13–28 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40090-020-00223-z

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Keywords

  • MgFe2O4/CNTs
  • Magnetic properties
  • Photocatalysis
  • MB degradation