A novel method for synthesizing magnetically recyclable nanocatalyst Fe3O4@Nico@Cu (Nico = nicotinic acid) was introduced. The structural, morphological, and magnetic properties of the nanocatalyst were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry. Finally, Fe3O4@Nico@Cu was examined toward the hydrogenation of azo dyes methyl orange, methylene blue, eosin Y, and rhodamine B. The nanocatalyst showed excellent reusability properties that remained unchanged after several catalytic cycles. Therefore, the current findings show the potential of the prepared Fe3O4@Nico@Cu nanocatalyst as a candidate for application in the purification of organic aqueous pollutants for wastewater treatment. (C) 2015, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.