Chemosphere, vol.322, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Photocatalytic activation of persulfate (PS) has recently been considered an effective and environmentally friendly approach for antibiotic decomposition due to its high treatment efficiency, low energy consumption, and high reliability. The development of safe and high-performance catalysts is important for PS-based advanced oxidation processes. In this study, a CuFe-layered double hydroxide (LDH) coated graphene oxide (CuFe-LDH/GO) composite was constructed as a photocatalyst for trimethoprim (TMP) decomposition. The CuFe-LDH/GO catalyst was prepared via the co-precipitation method and characterized through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and X-ray electron microscopy (XPS) techniques. Characterization results revealed that GO was entirely covered by LDH platelets which also kept its hydrotalcite structure in the as-prepared nanocomposite. The average crystallite size of CuFe-LDH/GO was 28.22 nm. The results confirmed that CuFe-LDH/GO exhibited excellent performance for the PS activation with a TMP removal efficiency of 90.8% under UV-light irradiation. Compared with pristine CuFe-LDH, the rate constant of TMP degradation of CuFe-LDH/GO was doubled. The results also indicated that acidic and alkaline conditions were not favorable for TMP degradation, and the catalytic activity of the used photocatalyst has not decreased significantly after 720 h of continuous recycling. Overall, CuFe-LDH/GO could be a promising photocatalyst for the treatment of wastewater containing antibiotics.