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Molecules 2017, 22(4), 677; doi:10.3390/molecules22040677

Photocatalytic and Adsorption Performances of Faceted Cuprous Oxide (Cu2O) Particles for the Removal of Methyl Orange (MO) from Aqueous Media

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 71 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 638075, Singapore
3
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049, Shandong Province, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pierre Pichat
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photon-involving Purification of Water and Air)
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Abstract

Particles of sub-micron size possess significant capacity to adsorb organic molecules from aqueous media. Semiconductor photocatalysts in particle form could potentially be utilized for dye removal through either physical adsorption or photo-induced chemical process. The photocatalytic and adsorption capabilities of Cu2O particles with various exposed crystal facets have been studied through separate adsorption capacity test and photocatalytic degradation test. These crystals display unique cubic, octahedral, rhombic dodecahedral, and truncated polyhedral shapes due to specifically exposed crystal facet(s). For comparison, Cu2O particles with no clear exposed facets were also prepared. The current work confirms that the surface charge critically affects the adsorption performance of the synthesized Cu2O particles. The octahedral shaped Cu2O particles, with exposed {111} facets, possess the best adsorption capability of methyl orange (MO) dye due to the strongest positive surface charge among the different types of particles. In addition, we also found that the adsorption of MO follows the Langmuir monolayer mechanism. The octahedral particles also performed the best in photocatalytic dye degradation of MO under visible light irradiation because of the assistance from dye absorption. On top of the photocatalytic study, the stability of these Cu2O particles during the photocatalytic processes was also investigated. Cu(OH)2 and CuO are the likely corrosion products found on the particle surface after the photocorrosion in MO solution. By adding hole scavengers in the solution, the photocorrosion of Cu2O was greatly reduced. This observation confirms that the photocatalytically generated holes were responsible for the photocorrosion of Cu2O. View Full-Text
Keywords: cuprous oxide (Cu2O); adsorption; photocatalytic performance; methyl orange (MO); dye degradation; photocorrosion cuprous oxide (Cu2O); adsorption; photocatalytic performance; methyl orange (MO); dye degradation; photocorrosion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ho, W.C.J.; Tay, Q.; Qi, H.; Huang, Z.; Li, J.; Chen, Z. Photocatalytic and Adsorption Performances of Faceted Cuprous Oxide (Cu2O) Particles for the Removal of Methyl Orange (MO) from Aqueous Media. Molecules 2017, 22, 677.

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