Fenton-like degradation of rhodamine B over highly durable Cu-embedded alumina: Kinetics and mechanism



Cu-embedded mesoporous alumina, as a Fenton-like catalyst prepared via a sol-gel method, showed excellent activity and durability for the degradation of refectory compounds. The origin of active sites for the generation of hydroxyl radicals (•OH) were thoroughly studied using multitechniques. Cu, as the only active element, could be penetrated into the bulk of alumina and some Cu atoms were embedded into the framework. The dynamic structure of surface Cu species (the variety of Cu+/Cu2+ ratio) during the reaction were determined as well. Furthermore, the structure plasticity of catalyst has proved by optimizing preparation and reaction conditions. A 98.53% degradation of RhB was recorded within 30 min, following a pseudo-first-order reaction rate expression. Electron spin resonance spectra and •OH scavenging experiments have confirmed that •OH is the main reactive oxidant for the elimination of RhB. By the surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer results, plausible pathways of RhB degradation were elaborated. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 64: 538–549, 2018