A new composite by coupling chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) with silver phosphate (Ag3 PO4) (CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4) was proposed by using a cyclic microwave heating method. The prepared composites were characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared, UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Under optimum conditions and 2.5 W irradiation (wavelength length > 420 nm, power density = 0.38 Wcm−2), 96% of rhodamine B (RhB) was degraded by CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4 within a 1 min photo-Fenton reaction, better than the performance of Ag3 PO4 (25% degradation within 10 min), CuFeS2 (87.7% degradation within 1 min), and mechanically mixed CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4 catalyst. RhB degradation mainly depended on the amount of hydroxyl radicals generated from the Fenton reaction. The degradation mechanism of CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4 from the photo-Fenton reaction was deduced using a free radical trapping experiment, the chemical reaction of coumarin, and photocurrent and luminescence response. The incorporation of CuFeS2 in Ag3 PO4 enhanced the charge separation of Ag3 PO4 and reduced Ag3 PO4 photocorrosion as the photogenerated electrons on Ag3 PO4 were transferred to regenerate Cu2+ /Fe3+ ions produced from the Fenton reaction to Cu+ /Fe2+ ions, thus simultaneously maintaining the CuFeS2 intact. This demonstrates the synergistic effect on material stability. However, hydroxyl radicals were produced by both the photogenerated holes of Ag3 PO4 and the Fenton reaction of CuFeS2 as another synergistic effect in catalysis. Notably, the degradation performance and the reusability of CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4 were promoted. The practical applications of this new material were demonstrated from the effective performance of CuFeS2 /Ag3 PO4 composites in degrading various dyestuffs (90–98.9% degradation within 10 min) and dyes in environmental water samples (tap water, river water, pond water, seawater, treated wastewater) through enhanced the Fenton reaction under sunlight irradiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)