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, a simple method to prepare CNT-Cu2O by controlling different reaction
time was reported. 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 the appropriate concentration, showing great reducibility for the 4-NP reduction