New functional β-chitin/calcium phosphate as promising support of copper nanocatalyst for the reductive degradation of methylene blue

  • R. Mulongo-Masamba
  • M. El Hazzat
  • A. El Hamidi
  • M. Halim
  • S. ArsalaneEmail author
Original Paper


A new hybrid material consisting of β-chitin and dicalcium phosphate anhydrous (DCPA) with interesting functional properties was successfully prepared at moderate temperature via mechanochemical route and served as a support for copper nanocatalyst (Cu(NPs)) in the degradation of methylene blue (MB). Cu(NPs) were obtained from the in situ chemical reduction of copper ions using an aqueous solution of NaBH4. The resulting Cu(NPs)/β-chitin/DCPA was characterized by several analytical techniques, and the obtained results were compared to those of Cu(NPs) supported on pure DCPA(Cu(NPs)/DCPA). The physicochemical analysis showed that the incorporation of β-chitin enhances the chemical stability and physical properties of the DCPA structure as well as the retention capacity of copper ions at the surface of β-chitin/DCPA. Catalytic performances obtained on Cu(NPs)/β-chitin/DCPA show a first-order kinetic and exhibited excellent reductive activity of MB with rate constant of 57.8 × 10−2 min−1, higher than that of Cu(NPs)/DCPA (9.5 × 10−2 min−1). By comparison with other reported Cu catalysts, Cu(NPs)/β-chitin/DCPA presents better catalytic efficiency due to the anchoring effect of β-chitin which maintains good dispersion and prevents Cu(NPs) against agglomeration without the addition of capping agents or surfactants templates. The high catalytic efficiency of Cu(NPs)/β-chitin/DCPA material was confirmed by the recyclability test, in which after four cycles, the MB is entirely degraded without any delay of the process.


β-Chitin/dicalcium phosphate anhydrous Catalytic degradation Copper nanoparticles Methylene blue dye 



This research was supported financially by the University of Mohammed V, Morocco under the Project No. SCH 04/09, and Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology, Morocco. The authors thank Prof. Sekkat Zouheir for his valuable assistance in solid-state 13C CP/MAS NMR analysis.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mulongo-Masamba
    • 1
  • M. El Hazzat
    • 1
  • A. El Hamidi
    • 1
  • M. Halim
    • 1
  • S. Arsalane
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Nanomaterials, Nanotechnologies and Environment, Center of Materials, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of Mohammed VRabatMorocco

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