Coal fly ash-based copper ferrite nanocomposites as potential heterogeneous photocatalysts for wastewater remediation

Nimra Nadeem, Qamar Abbas, Muhammad Yaseen, Asim Jilani, Muhammad Zahid*, Javed Iqbal, Adil Murtaza, Marcin Janczarek, Teofil Jesionowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coal fly ash (CFA) based-copper ferrite nanocomposites were fabricated, characterized, and applied for the photocatalytic degradation of Methyl Orange (MO) dye. The hydrothermal synthesis route was opted for the fabrication of pristine copper ferrite nanoparticles and its CFA nanocomposites. The prepared photocatalysts were analyzed in terms of structural, surface morphology, chemical state analysis, elemental composition, and optical response. The photocatalytic activity of nanocomposites was investigated sequentially under ultraviolet light (254 nm) and influencing parameters (pH, H2O2 dose, photocatalyst content, dye initial concentration, irradiation time) were studied. The optimized conditions for photocatalytic degradation were found at pH = 5, composite dose = 100 mg/L, H2O2 = 10 mM using CFA nanocomposite and the dye was efficiently degraded within 60 min. The best degradation efficiency of ~98% was achieved using CFA-CuFe2O4 (1:1) under the optimized conditions. The key reactive species (radical dotOH, h+, and e−) for photocatalytic degradation were determined by a radical scavenging experiment and radical dot radicals were found to be the most effective ones. The kinetic study of Fenton oxidation processes was conducted using Behnajady-Modirshahla-Ghanbery (BMG) kinetic model. Response surface methodology was the statistical tool for the assessment of interaction effect among experimental variables.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150542
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Metal Ferrite
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Response surface methodology
  • Waste management
  • Dye degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

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