Cu-based metallic glass with robust activity and sustainability for wastewater treatment
Metallic glasses (MGs) with superior catalytic performance have attracted great attention in wastewater treatment. However, the low durability of the extensively studied Fe-based MGs impedes their degradation efficiencies and practical applications. In this study, Cu46Zr44.5Al7.5Gd2 MGs are prepared to degrade organic water contaminants for the first time, and they exhibit excellent catalytic activity and high sustainability. The degradation reactions maintain a high degradation efficiency of more than 95% within 10 min when the Cu-based MG ribbons are reused 80 times. The degradation reaction occurs more easily with the Cu-based MGs compared with other MGs due to the lower thermal activation energy barrier of 17 kJ mol−1. Cu nanocrystals precipitating in the Cu-based MGs are the catalytically active species of the degradation reaction, resulting in the high degradation efficiency and sustainability of the Cu-based MGs. Our study will promote the widespread application of MGs as functional materials.