Sci Rep. 2023 Aug 17;13(1):13365. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-40520-y.
Water pollution from synthetic dyes and oil spills has a significant impact on the environment and living species. Here, we developed a low-cost, environmentally friendly and easily biodegradable magnetic hybrid bio-sponge nanocomposite from renewable resources such as collagen and cellulose (Kenaf fibre cellulose-collagen, KFCC). We loaded it with magnetic bimetallic Fe3O4@TiO2 (BFT) NPs to produce a photocatalyst material (KFCC-BFT) for the treatment of colored wastewater as well as a sorbent for oil-water separation. The characterization of the bimetallic BFT NPs by XRD, HRTEM and VSM showed the deposition of TiO2 particles onto the surface of Fe3O4 with lattice interlayers spacing of 0.24 and 0.33 nm for Fe3O4 and TiO2, respectively with ferromagnetic property. The UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra result indicated that the band gap energy of bio-sponges decreases with the increase of the bimetallic moiety. The photocatalytic efficiency of the as-prepared magnetic hybrid bio-sponge in the degradation of crystal violet dye was up to 91.2% under visible light conditions and 86.6% under direct sunlight exposure. Furthermore, the magnetic hybrid bio-sponge was used to separate motor oil from water (> 99%) and had a high oil sorption capacity of 46.1 g/g. Investigation of the recyclability and reusability performance for 9 cycles revealed that the bio-sponge had a high sorption capacity for up to 5 cycles. Our results suggest that the bio-polymer-supported BFT hybrid nanocomposite is a cost-effective and easily biodegradable photocatalyst and has great potential for real-field environmental remediation applications.