Civil and Environmental Engineering


Date of this Version



Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Open access.


In this study, copper-loaded activated alumina (Cu/AA) was synthesized and used for the CWPO of catechol (a representative refractory organic pollutant). Various characterization techniques were deployed to characterize the catalysts, e.g., activated alumina (AA), as well as pristine and spent 1% Cu/AA. The innovative 1% Cu/AA catalyst exhibited good thermal stability up to 1173 K with a marginal weight loss of 13%. The Cu species were well dispersed on the activated alumina framework with no significant cluster formation. Typically, the average copper particle size of 5 nm was dispersed on the AA framework. Catechol removal was observed to be 92% with 87% mineralization at optimized conditions (initial catechol concentration = 200 mg/L, catalyst dose of 1% Cu/AA = 2 g/L; temperature = 323 K; pH = 6; and H2O2/ catechol stoichiometric ratio = 0.5). The mineralization of catechol was analyzed using mass spectroscopy, with the associated mechanism has been elucidated. Results of this study indicated that synthesized catalyst has phenomenal advantages in terms of simple separation and high removal efficiency of catechol, suggesting the feasibility of employing Cu/AA as the effective catalyst for the CWPO of catechol.