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Nickel ferrite nanoenabled graphene oxide (NiFe2O4@GO) as photoactive nanocomposites for water treatment


Nanocomposite materials can enhance the capabilities of water treatment processes such as photocatalysis. In this work, novel light-driven nanocatalysts were synthesized by using nickel ferrite (NiFe2O4) to nanoenable graphene oxide (GO) substrates. GO is an emerging 2D nanomaterial with high conductivity and adsorption properties. Moreover, the electric properties of GO improve photocatalytic performance by promoting charge carrier separation. Results of the characterization of the nickel ferrite nanoenabled graphene oxide (NiFe2O4@GO) nanocomposites demonstrate that homogeneous and stable photocatalysts were produced. The as-synthesized nanocatalysts enabled complete decolorization of the colored water matrix in short irradiation times of 150 min using minimal catalyst loading at 0.5 g L−1. The selective hook and destroy mechanism reduced the competitive effect of co-existing ions in solution. Furthermore, the use of specific scavengers helped to elucidate the degradation mechanisms of organic dye methylene blue by NiFe2O4@GO nanocomposites.

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YJS, CDD, and MDGDL conceptualized the study. YJS, CDD, and MDGDL acquired the funding. MDGDL, CDD, and YJS supervised the work. MDGDL and YJS designed the experiments. ARBB performed the experiments. MDGDL, ARBB, and SGS organized the results. ARBB, SGS, and MDGDL analyzed the data. SGS, ARBB, and MDGDL wrote the draft manuscript. MDGDL and SGS reviewed and revised the manuscript.


The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Contract No. MOST 106-2221-E-022-002-MY3), and the Department of Science and Technology, Philippines, for providing financial support for this research undertaking.

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Correspondence to Cheng-Di Dong or Mark Daniel G. de Luna.

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• Nickel ferrite nanoenabled graphene oxide catalysts were synthesized.

• The hook and destroy approach improved degradation performance.

• Photogenerated holes and hydroxyl radicals were identified as main oxidants.

Responsible editor: Sami Rtimi

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Bayantong, A.R.B., Shih, YJ., Dong, CD. et al. Nickel ferrite nanoenabled graphene oxide (NiFe2O4@GO) as photoactive nanocomposites for water treatment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 5472–5481 (2021).

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  • Advanced oxidation process
  • Graphene nanocomposite
  • Photocatalysis
  • UV irradiation
  • Wastewater treatment