Chitosan-Grafted Halloysite Nanotubes-Fe3O4 Composite for Laccase-Immobilization and Sulfamethoxazole-Degradation
A surface-engineered nano-support for enzyme laccase-immobilization was designed by grafting the surface of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) with Fe3O4 nanoparticles and chitosan. Herein, HNTs were magnetized (HNTs-M) by a cost-effective reduction-precipitation method. The synthesized HNTs-M were grafted with 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, and 2% chitosan (HNTs-M-chitosan), respectively. Synthesized HNTs-M-chitosan (0.25%), HNTs-M-chitosan (0.5%), HNTs-M-chitosan (1%) and HNTs-M-chitosan (2%) were linked with glutaraldehyde (GTA) for laccase immobilization. Among these formulations, HNTs-M-chitosan (1%) exhibited the highest laccase immobilization with 95.13% activity recovery and 100.12 mg/g of laccase loading. The optimized material was characterized thoroughly by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analysis. The immobilized laccase (HNTs-M-chitosan (1%)-GTA-Laccase) exhibited higher pH, temperature, and storage stabilities. The HNTs-M-chitosan (1%)-GTA-Laccase possesses excellent reusability capabilities. At the end of 10 cycles of the reusability experiment, HNTs-M-chitosan (1%)-GTA-Laccase retained 59.88% of its initial activity. The immobilized laccase was utilized for redox-mediated degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX), resulting in 41%, 59%, and 62% degradation of SMX in the presence of 2,2&prime;-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS), guaiacol (GUA), and syringaldehyde (SA), respectively. Repeated SMX degradation (57.10% after the sixth cycle) confirmed the potential of HNTs-M-chitosan (1%)-GTA-Laccase for environmental pollutant degradation. Thus, we successfully designed chitosan-based, rapidly separable super-magnetic nanotubes for efficacious enhancement of laccase biocatalysis, which can be applied as nano-supports for other enzymes.