Background: 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) is one of the pollutants in sewage and harmful to human health and the environment. Cu is a non-noble metal with catalytic reduction effect on nitro compounds, and has the advantages of simple preparation, abundant reserves, and low price. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are widely used for substrate due to their excellent mechanical stability and high surface area. In this study, we reported a simple method to prepare CNT-Cu2O by controlling different reaction time. The prepared nanocomposites were used to catalyze 4-NP.
Methods: CNTs and CuCl2 solution were put into a beaker, and then ascorbic acid and NaOH were added while continuously stirring. The reaction was carried out for a sufficiently long period of time at 60°C. The prepared samples were dried in a vacuum at 50°C for 48 h after washing with ethyl alcohol and deionized water.
Results: Nanostructures of these composites were characterized by scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscopy techniques, and the results at a magnification of 200 nanometers showed that Cu2O was distributed on the surface of the CNTs. In addition, X-ray diffraction was performed to further confirm the formation of Cu2O nanoparticles. The results of ultraviolet spectrophotometry showed that the catalytic effect of the compound on 4-NP was obvious.
Conclusions: CNTs acted as a huge template for loading Cu2O nanoparticles, which could improve the stability and cycle performance of Cu2O. The formation of nanoparticles was greatly affected by temperature and appropriate concentration, showing great reducibility for the 4-NP reduction reaction.