Chitin/TiO2 composite was prepared through colloid TiO2 deposited on the chitin by controlling the pH value of the system, while colloid TiO2 was synthesized by the sol–gel method using tetrabutyl titanate as a precursor. The structures and morphologies of the chitin/TiO2 composite were characterized by FT-IR, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The photocatalytic degradation of phenol was investigated by HPLC method. The results revealed that the chitin/ TiO2 composite was an efficient photocatalyst for the degradation of phenol, and 99.2% of the phenol was degraded after 6h under UV light. The TiO2 was adsorbed on the chitin by hydrogen and titanoxane bonds between them. Colloid TiO2 was gradually deposited to form the anatase crystallographic structures, showing 2θ = 25.3, 37.8, 47.8 and 54.6. Such biocompatible photocatalyst might be applied in the field of various phenol pollutants abatement.