Increasingly frequent petroleum contamination in water bodies continues to threaten our ecosystem, which lacks efficient and safe remediation tactics both on macro and nanoscales. Current nanomaterial and dispersant remediation methods neglect to investigate their adverse environmental and biological impact, which can lead to a synergistic chemical imbalance. In response to this rising threat, a highly efficient, environmentally friendly and biocompatible nano-dispersant has been developed comprising a multi-shelled nanoparticle termed 'Nano-CarboScavengers' (NCS) with native properties for facile recovery via booms and mesh tools. NCS treated different forms of petroleum oil (raw and distillate form) with considerable efficiency (80% and 91%, respectively) utilizing sequestration and dispersion abilities in tandem with a ∼10:1 (oil: NCS; w/w) loading capacity. In extreme contrast with chemical dispersants, the NCS was found to be remarkably benign in in vitro and in vivo assays. Additionally, the carbonaceous nature of NCS broke down by human myeloperoxidase and horseradish peroxidase enzymes, revealing that incidental biological uptake can enzymatically digest the sugar based core.
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