Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 3638–3654 | Cite as

Iron Nanoparticles α-Chitin Nanocomposite for Enhanced Antimicrobial, Dyes Degradation and Heavy Metals Removal Activities

  • Eman Zakaria GomaaEmail author
Original Paper


The synthesis of metal nanoparticles has become a matter of great interest in recent years for overcoming various challenges such as infectious diseases and environmental pollutants. In the present study, a green synthesis of iron nanoparticles (FeNP) was performed using aqueous leaf extract of Corchorus olitorius as a reducing and capping agent. Chitin nanoparticles (CNP) were prepared from shells of Penaeus semisulcatus and used for the preparation of iron/chitin nanocomposite. The structure and properties of the synthesized nanoparticles were investigated by UV–Vis spectroscopy, TEM, EDX, XRD and FTIR analyses and then evaluated for their antimicrobial, dyes degradation and heavy metals adsorption activities. FeNP/CNP nanocomposite showed enhanced antimicrobial activity as compared to that of FeNP and CNP alone. A great degradation had been confirmed upon treatment of dyes with FeNP/CNP nanocomposite. It reached 95% for methyl orange at 150 min. Furthermore, the removal efficiency of heavy metals increased with increasing adsorbents concentrations. FeNP/CNP nanocomposite exhibited higher heavy metals removal efficiency than FeNP and in a shorter time. It caused removal percentages of 98.9, 94.2 and 90.3% for Cr3+, Cd2+ and Ni2+, respectively at 30 min. The results confirmed that incorporation of FeNP into CNP improves the properties of FeNP and can be used as a promising strategy to be used as biocompatible antimicrobial and bioremediation agents.

Graphical Abstract


Iron nanoparticles Iron/chitin nanocomposite Antimicrobial Dyes degradation Heavy metals removing 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological and Geological Sciences, Faculty of EducationAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

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