Green approach for photocatalytic Cu(II)-EDTA degradation over TiO2: Toward environmental sustainability

Siew Siang Lee, Hongwei Bai, Zhaoyang Liu, Darren Delai Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


A green approach was successfully developed to reap three environmental benefits simultaneously: (1) clean water production, (2) hydrogen (H2) generation, and (3) well-dispersed in situ Cu2+ recovery for direct TiO2-CuO composite reclamation, by exploiting the synergistic integration of photocatalytic reaction of Cu-EDTA and one-dimensional (1D) ultralong and ultrathin TiO2 nanofibers. In this light-initiated system, Cu-EDTA was oxidized by TiO2 thus releasing Cu2+ which was reduced and recovered through uniform adsorption onto the long and porous TiO2 surface. A win-win platform was thus attained, on which Cu was recovered while providing active sites for H2 generation via photoreduction of H2O and enhancing photo-oxidation of remaining intermediate oxidation byproducts. Experimental results showed a H2 generation rate of 251 μmol/h concomitantly with TOC reduction. The used TiO2 nanofibers deposited with Cu were reclaimed directly as the TiO2-CuO composite after a facile heat treatment without additional chemicals and subsequently reusable for photocatalytic treatment of other wastewater (glycerol) to cogenerate H2 and clean water under both UV-visible and visible light. This study expounds a significant advancement through an ingenious integration which enhances the environmental sustainability of Cu-EDTA treatment via TiO2 photocatalysis. It also represents a promising and adoptable approach to synthesize other functional composite nanomaterials in a green manner thus broadening its environmental application spectrum, as it promotes industrial environmental management via waste segregation and motivates research to recover more resources from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2541-2548
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Green approach for photocatalytic Cu(II)-EDTA degradation over TiO<sub>2</sub>: Toward environmental sustainability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this