Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue from aqueous solution using Fe3O4@SiO2@CeO2 core-shell magnetic nanostructure as an effective catalyst

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, ShahidBahonar University of Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Nanotechnology, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran


In the present study, the core-shell magnetic nanostructure of Fe3O4@SiO2@CeO2 was synthesized to investigate its use as an effective photocatalyst for methylene blue removal. The prepared samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). The photocatalytic activity for the Fe3O4@SiO2@CeO2 core-shell magnetic nanostructure was investigated under visible light by determining the degradation rate of methylene blue for 50 min. At the end of the photocatalytic degradation process, the magnetic catalyst was recovered by an external magnetic field. The performance of the proposed catalyst for the degradation of methylene blue was improved with the optimization of the effective parameters such as the amount of catalyst, pH, and reaction time. Under optimum conditions, the efficiency of methylene blue removal with the proposed photocatalyst remains higher than 92 % after five times of use. The second pseudo-model was selected as the kinetic model to calculate catalytic degradation. The present results show that the Fe3O4@SiO2@CeO2 can be an efficient nanocatalyst for the photodegradation of dye pollutants.


Main Subjects

[1] Hitam, C. N. C., Jalil, A. A. (2020). A review on exploration of Fe2O3 photocatalyst towards degradation of dyes and organic contaminants. Journal of environmental management, 258, 110050.

[2] You, J., Guo, Y., Guo, R., Liu, X. (2020). A review of visible light-active photocatalysts for water disinfection: Features and prospects. Chemical engineering journal, 373, 624-641.

[3] Liang, Q., Liu, X., Zeng, G., Liu, Z., Tang, L., Shao, B., Zeng, Z., Zhang, W., Liu, Y., Cheng, M., Tang, W., & Gong, Sh. (2019). Surfactant-assisted synthesis of photocatalysts: Mechanism, synthesis, recent advances and environmental application. Chemical engineering journal, 372, 429-451.

[4] Poole, Jr., Charles, P., Frank, J. (2005). Introduction to Nanotechnology. Journal of materials sciense technology, 395, 226-234.

[5] Ohno, K., Tanaka, M., Takeda, J., Kawazoe, Y. (2008). Nano-and Micromaterials. Materials letters, 9, 123-136.

[6] Wong, J. K. H., Tan, H. K., Lau, S. Y., Yap, P-S., Danquah, M. K. (2019). Potential and challenges of enzyme incorporated nanotechnology in dye wastewater treatment: A review. Journal of environmental chemical engineering, 7, 103261.

[7] Kurmi, B. D., Patel, P., Paliwal, R., Paliwal, S. R. (2020). Molecular approaches for targeted drug delivery towards cancer: A concise review with respect to nanotechnology. Journal of drug delivery science and technology, 57, 101682.

[8] Zhang, W., Zhang, D., Liang, Y. (2019). Nanotechnology in remediation of water contaminated by poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances: A review. Environmental pollution, 247, 266-276.

[9] Hitkari, G., Singh, S., Panday, G. (2018). Photoluminescence behavior and visible light photocatalytic activity of ZnO, ZnO/ZnS and ZnO/ZnS/α-Fe2O3 nanocomposites. Transactions of nonferrous metals society of China, 28, 1386-1396.

[10] Qian, Y., Yang, M., Zhang, F., Du, J., Li, K., Lin, X., Zhu, X., Lu, Y., Wang, W., Kang, D. J. (2018). A stable and highly efficient visible-light-driven hydrogen evolution porous CdS/WO3/TiO2 photocatalysts. Materials characterization, 142, 43-49.

[11] Ma, R., Zhang, S., Wen, T., Gu, P., Li, L., Zhao, G., Niu, F., Huang, Q., Tang, Zh., Wang, X. (2019). A critical review on visible-light-response CeO2-based photocatalysts with enhanced photooxidation of organic pollutants. Catalysis today, 335, 20-30.

[12] Chaudhuri, R. G., Paria, S. (2012). Core-shell nanoparticles: classes, properties, synthesis mechanisms, characterization, and applications. Chemical reviews, 112, 2373-2433.

[13] Channei, D., Inceesungvorn, B., Wetchakun, N., & Phanichphant, S. (2014). Synthesis of Fe3O4/SiO2/CeO2 Core–Shell magnetic and their application as photocatalyst. Journal of nanoparticle research, 14, 7756-7762.

[14] Girginova, P. I., Daniel-da-Silva, A. L., Lopes, C. B., Figueira, P., Otero, M., Amaral, V. S., Pereira, E., Trindade, T. (2010). Silica coated magnetite particles for magnetic removal of Hg 2+ from water. Journal of colloid and interface science, 345, 234-240.

[15] Panneerselvam, P., Morad, N., Tan, K. A. (2011). Magnetic nanoparticle (Fe3O4) impregnated onto tea waste for the removal of nickel (II) from aqueous solution. Journal of imaging science and technology, 186, 160-168.

[16] Peng, Q., Liu, Y., Zeng, G., Xu, W., Yang, C., Zhang, J. (2010). Biosorption of copper (II) by immobilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae on the surface of chitosan-coated magnetic nanoparticles from aqueous solution. Journal of imaging science and technology, 177, 676-682.

[17] Tajabadi, M., Khosroshahi, M. E. (2012). New finding on magnetite particle size reduction by changing temperature and alkaline media concentration. Advances in chemistry series, 3, 140-146.

[18] Mashkoor, F., Nasar, A. (2020). Magsorbents: Potential candidates in wastewater treatment technology – A review on the removal of methylene blue dye. Journal of magnetism and magnetic materials, 500, 166408.

[19] Wang, C., Li, J., Lv, X.,  Zhang Y., Guo, G. (2014). Photocatalytic organic pollutants degradation in metal-organicframeworks. Energy and environmental. science. 25, 2831-2867.

[20] Zinatloo-Ajabshir, S., Salavati-Niasari, M. (2019). Preparation of magnetically retrievable CoFe2O4@ SiO2@ Dy2Ce2O7 nanocomposites as novel photocatalyst for highly efficient degradation of organic contaminants. Composites part B: Engineering, 174, 106930.

[21] Long, Z., Li, Q., Wei, T., Zhang, G., Ren, Zh. (2020). Historical development and prospects of photocatalysts for pollutant removal in water. Journal of hazardous materials, 395, 122599.

[22] Channei, D., Inceesungvorn, B., Wetchakun, N., Phanichphant, S. (2014). Synthesis of Fe3O4/SiO2/CeO2 Core–Shell Magnetic and Their Application as Photocatalyst. Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology, 14, 7756-7762.

[23] Ehrampoosh, M., Moussavi, G. H., Ghaneian, M., Rahimi, S., Ahmadian, M. (2011). Removal of methylene blue dye from textile simulated sample using tubular reactor and TiO2/UV-C photocatalytic process. Journal of environmental health, 8, 34-40.

[24] Joshi, K. M., Shrivastava, V. S. (2012). Removal of methylene blue dye aqueous solution using photocatalysis. Environmental technology, 2, 241-252.

[25] Kanakaraju, D., Mohamad Shahdad, R. N., Lim, Y-C., Pace, A. (2018). Magnetic hybrid TiO2/Alg/FeNPs triads for the efficient removal of methylene blue from water. Sustainable chemistry and pharmacy, 8, 50-62.

[26] Saeed, M., Muneer, M., Akram, N., Haq, A., Afzal, N., Hamayun, M. (2019). Synthesis and characterization of silver loaded alumina and evaluation of its photo catalytic activity on photo degradation of methylene blue dye. Chemical engineering research and design, 148, 218- 226.

[27] Ashraf, G. A., Rasool, R. T., Hassan, M., Zhang, L. (2020). Enhanced photo Fenton-like activity by effective and stable Al–Sm M-hexaferrite heterogenous catalyst magnetically detachable for methylene blue degradation. Journal of alloys and compounds, 821, 153410.