Development of a Cu(ii) doped boehmite based multifunctional sensor for detection and removal of Cr(vi) from wastewater and conversion of Cr(vi) into an energy harvesting source†
This article reports a copper doped boehmite (CBH) based nano-material which is capable of detecting and removing hexavalent chromium simultaneously. Basic characterization has been performed to determine its phase purity, particle size (∼20 nm), morphology and surface properties (surface area 15.29 m2 g−1 and pore diameter 3.9 nm) by using some basic characterization tools. The Rietveld refinement method has been adopted to analyze the microstructural details of the synthesized nanostructure. Photoinduced electron transfer (PET) based quenching of fluorescence is mainly responsible for chromium sensing in this case. This nanosensor is exceptionally sensitive (limit of detection ∼ 6.24 μM) and merely selective towards hexavalent chromium ions. Industrial wastewater samples have also been used here to demonstrate the real life applicability of this material, which shows the same trend. This fluoro-sensor gains its multi-functionality when it comes to the adsorption based removal of Cr(VI) from wastewater. The synthesized material shows a remarkably high adsorption rate (∼85% in just 5 minutes) due to its sponge-like porous structure. Adsorption of hexavalent chromium from wastewater enhances the dielectric constant of this material significantly (∼7.93 times). Ionic polarization-dependent enhancement of the dielectric constant resulting from industrial wastewater treatment is a quite unmarked approach. Very low tangent loss with augmented dielectric permittivity makes this nano-material desirable for energy harvesting applications. Previously many articles have reported the sensing and removal of various industrial effluents. Keeping this in mind, this work has been designed and, apart from sensing and removal, it provides a new insight into energy harvesting from wastewater.