A novel binary composite CeO2-CuO has been synthesized via self-combustion method employing cerium and copper nitrates, and glycine as fuel, and was investigated as photocatalyst to test the photodegradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) dye with visible light. The nanocomposite has been characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to establish the temperature of calcination, X-ray diffraction (XRD) structural and morphologic analysis, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), which enables the chemical characterization/elemental analysis of materials, the photoluminescence (PL), UV-Vis Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-Vis DRS), measurement of specific surface (SBET ) by N2 adsorption and temperature programmed reduction (TPR) analysis. The XRD diffractogram shows that the composite is majorly composed of 65.2% CeO2 and 34.8 % CuO. The nanoscaled-tested samples have an average particle size of 40 to 65 nm. The energy gap of the material as synthesized was 2.05 eV. The TPR curves show 2 peaks of hydrogen consumption in the sample, corresponding to the decrease (reduction) of CuO particles caused by their interaction with CeO2.The results of the photocatalytic tests show 28% conversion in the photodegradation of RhB organic pollutant during 180 min under visible light. The CeO2- CuO material could be reused for treatment of wastewater during several cycles, which demonstrates its stability for the process.

W. Bouchal, F. Djani, A. Martlnez-Arias, Dj. E. Mazouzi and S. Rezgui