CuO Nanorods Immobilized Agar-Alginate Biopolymer: A Green Functional Material for Photocatalytic Degradation of Amaranth Dye

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jan 21;15(3):553. doi: 10.3390/polym15030553.


The contamination of water is increasing day by day due to the increase of urbanization and population. Textile industries contribute to this by discarding their waste directly into water streams without proper treatment. A recent study explores the treatment potential of copper oxide nanorods (CuO NRs) synthesized on a green basis in the presence of a biopolymer matrix of agar (AA) and alginate (Alg), in terms of cost effectiveness and environmental impact. The synthesized bio nanocomposite (BNC) was characterized by using different instrumental techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultra-violet spectroscopy (UV-Vis), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray-elemental analysis (SEM-EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area diffraction pattern (SAED) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The optical studies revealed that immobilization of CuO NRs with Alg-Agar biopolymer blend resulted in an increase in light absorption capacity by decreasing the energy bandgap from 2.53 eV to 2.37 eV. The bio nanocomposite was utilized as a photocatalyst for the degradation of amaranth (AN) dye from an aquatic environment under visible light irradiation. A statistical tool known as central composite design (CCD) associated with response surface methodology (RSM) was taken into consideration to evaluate the optimized values of process variables and their synergistic effect on photocatalytic efficiency. The optimized values of process variables were found to be irradiation time (45 min), AN concentration (80 ppm), catalyst dose (20 mg), and pH (4), resulting in 95.69% of dye degradation at 95% confidence level with desirability level 1. The rate of AN degradation was best defined by pseudo-first-order reaction based on the correlation coefficient value (R2 = 0.99) suggesting the establishment of adsorption-desorption equilibrium initially at the catalyst surface then photogenerated •O2- radicals interacting with AN molecule to mineralize them into small non-toxic entities like CO2, H2O. The material used has high efficiency and stability in photocatalytic degradation experiments up to four cycles of reusability.

PMID:36771854 | DOI:10.3390/polym15030553


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