Novel CuCo2O4 Composite Spinel with a Meso-Macroporous Nanosheet Structure for Sulfate Radical Formation and Benzophenone-4 Degradation: Interface Reaction, Degradation Pathway, and DFT Calculation

Yiping Wang, Haodong Ji, Wen Liu, Tianshan Xue, Chao Liu, Yuting Zhang, Longyan Liu, Qiang Wang, Fei Qi, Bingbing Xu, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Wei Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A series of CuCo2O4 composite spinels with an interconnected meso-macroporous nanosheet morphology were synthesized using the hydrothermal method and subsequent calcination treatment to activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) for benzophenone-4 (BP-4) degradation. As-prepared CuCo2O4 composite spinels, especially CuCo-H3 prepared by adding cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, showed superior reactivity for PMS activation. In a typical reaction, BP-4 (10.0 mg/L) was almost completely degraded in 15 min by the activation of PMS (200.0 mg/L) using CuCo-H3 (100.0 mg/L), with only 9.2 μg/L cobalt leaching detected. Even after being used six times, the performance was not influenced by the lower leaching of ions and surface-absorbed intermediates. The possible interface mechanism of PMS activation by CuCo-H3 was proposed, wherein a unique interconnected meso-macroporous nanosheet structure, strong interactions between copper and cobalt, and cycling of Co(II)/Co(III) and Cu(I)/Cu(II) effectively facilitated PMS activation to generate SO4•- and •OH, which contributed to BP-4 degradation. Furthermore, combined with intermediates detected by liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and density functional theory calculation results, the degradation pathway of BP-4 involving hydroxylation and C-C bond cleavage was proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20522-20535
Number of pages14
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2020


  • CuCo O
  • benzophenone-4
  • interconnected meso-macroporous nanosheet
  • peroxymonosulfate
  • sulfate radicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this