Journal of Cleaner Production, vol.380, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 Elsevier LtdDemands for sustainable and eco-friendly materials for environmental remediation have increased the interest in bio-reinforced nanocomposites. Herein, novel plant extracts modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanocomposite films were fabricated using Hemp seeds, St. John's Wort, Rosemary, and Cherry Laurel plants, and their photocatalytic activities were investigated for the photodegradation of Methylene Blue (MB) dye. Besides, bio-reinforced nanocomposites were characterized by various techniques to investigate the influence of plant extracts on the chemical structure, morphology, hardness, and swelling ratio of nanocomposite films. The morphological inspections revealed that as a result of the plant-extract modification, the PVA matrix was reinforced with equiaxed nanoparticles in a size range from 20 to 250 nm. The Shore-D hardness and the water absorption capacities of fabricated bio-reinforced nanocomposites were found to be 1.86 and 1.24 times higher than their neat counterparts, respectively. Both the bio-reinforced nanocomposites films showed considerably enhanced photocatalytic activity for MB dye degradation relative to neat PVA film. With a synergetic effect of adsorption and photocatalytic degradation, 61.3% of MB dye could be removed under light irradiation by Rosemary and Cherry Laurel modified PVA nanocomposite film. Therefore, the present bio-reinforced nanocomposites with photocatalytic activity shed light on the unknown potential of plant extracts.