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Electrospun CuAl2O4 hollow nanofibers as visible light photocatalyst with enhanced activity and excellent stability under acid and alkali conditions

Abstract

Photocatalyst with desirable and stable photocatalytic activity under visible light irradiation is of great significance for water purification. In this work, we prepared CuAl2O4 hollow nanofibers (HNFs) with diameter of 100 - 150 nm by combining electrospinning technique and subsequent annealing. The hollow structure could be obtained at appropriate heating rate (3 - 5 °C/min), probably because the existence of oxygen concentration gradient resulted in the faster decomposition of polymer on the surface than the internal of the nanofibers. The CuAl2O4 HNFs had large specific surface area for photocatalytic reaction and narrow band gap for good visible light absorption. As expected, the CuAl2O4 HNFs exhibited desirable photocatalytic activity for degrading both Rhodamine B and Methyl Orange under visible light irradiation and the calcination temperature strongly affected its photocatalytic performance. Importantly, the photocatalytic activity was very stable at pH 3 - 11 due to its excellent chemical stability. Moreover, the photocatalytic mechanism was discussed based on the trapping experiments and it was found that e-, h+ and ·O2- were the vital radicals in the reactions. Most of all, the CuAl2O4 HNFs could be easily recycled by sedimentation and separation because of the non-woven web structure and good mechanical stability. Therefore, as-prepared CuAl2O4 HNFs as a promising photocatalyst may have a good prospect for sustainable development and chemical engineering applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Aug 2017, accepted on 23 Nov 2017 and first published on 23 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CE01545C
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Electrospun CuAl2O4 hollow nanofibers as visible light photocatalyst with enhanced activity and excellent stability under acid and alkali conditions

    J. Zhang, C. Shao, X. Li, J. Xin, S. Yang and Y. Liu, CrystEngComm, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7CE01545C

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