The photocatalytic properties of ZnO-CuO catalysts supported on siliceous MCM-48 (Mobil Composition of Matter No. 48) for the degradation of organic pollutions such as methylene blue and salicylic acid under UV light irradiation were investigated. These catalysts were prepared by impregnation of MCM-48 with a mixed aqueous solution of copper acetate and zinc acetate. X-ray diffraction, N2-physisorption, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and photoluminescence were used to characterize these samples. Results from characterizations showed that the addition of ZnO to CuO/MCM-48 could markedly improve the photocatalytic degradation properties. The enhanced photocatalytic behaviors of ZnO-CuO/MCM-48 may be due to the formation of p-n heterojunctions between ZnO and CuO, resulting in the effective separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. Moreover, the photocatalysts were easily recovered and reused for five cycles without considerable loss of activity.

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