Cuprous oxide that was prepared from Cu-containing waste liquid from a printed circuit board manufacturer was used to carry out Fenton-like and photo-Fenton-like oxidation reactions to decolorize a reactive dye (RB19). A microwave hydrothermal method was applied in the synthesis. The highest recovery rate of Cu from wastewater was 87% and was obtained when the synthesis was performed at a power of 200 W for 15 min. An RB19 decolorization efficiency of 99.9% was achieved when the Fenton-like reaction was conducted with 50 mmol/L H2O2 and 0.9 g/L of Cu2O. The decolorization of RB19 was more effective when the system was irradiated with visible light than with UV light. Under irradiation, the decolorization rate was the highest when the decolorization was performed in the RB19 solution that contained 50 mmol/L H2O2 and 0.9 g/L CuO2 in the Fenton-like and the 365 nm-irradiated photo-Fenton-like reactions. In the case of irradiation under 410 nm visible light, the system was operated with lower H2O2 (30 mmol/L) and Cu2O (0.5 g/L) to achieve a decolorization rate higher than 365 nm-irradiated photo-Fenton-like reactions.

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