Transition metal oxide (Fe2O3, Co3O4 and CuO) loaded ZnTiO3-TiO2 nanocomposites were successfully prepared by solid state dispersion method. The structural, morphological and optical properties of samples were characterized by TGA/DTA, XRD, BET, FT-IR, DRS, PL, XPS and SEM techniques. The photocatalytic activity of samples was investigated by degradation of 4-chlorophenol in water under sunlight. The Fe2O3 loaded sample was found to exhibit much higher photocatalytic activity than the other composite powders. 7Fe(2)O(3)/ZnTi sample has the highest percentage of 4-chlorophenol degradation (100%) and highest reaction rate (1.27 mg L-1 min(-1)) was obtained in 45 min. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity for ZnTiO3-TiO2 sample with Fe2O3 addition may be attributed to its small particle size, the presence of more surface OH groups, lower band gap energy than other samples in this paper and the presence of more hexagonal ZnTiO3 phase in the morphology. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.