Diospyros lotus, commonly known as date-plum due to its taste being similar to both dates and plums, is a sub-tropical plant native to certain regions of southwest Asia and southeast Europe. Researchers from Pakistan explain how they used extracts from date-plum leaves to synthesize silver nanoparticles, and why this is useful.
The process by which silver nanoparticles are produced from date-plum leaves is a so-called “green route”, or environmentally friendly way, to synthesize nanoparticles, and is part of an emerging field within nanotechnology. A recent study published in Green Processing and Synthesis documents how this was achieved.
An alkaline (pH 8.5) solution of silver nitrate and fresh date-plum leaf extract was found to be the optimal starting material for preparing silver nanoparticles. The researchers detected the formation of nanoparticles by observing a color change in the liquid from pale yellow to reddish brown. Once the nanoparticles had formed, they were identified using state-of-the-art techniques (including ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy) based on physical properties like their shape, size, charge properties, and microstructure. Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy showed a well-defined absorption peak at 407 nm – a hallmark indicating successful silver nanoparticle formation. Other techniques showed that the particles had the expected cubic structure, size, crystalline nature and purity of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles.
The nanoparticles were then used to degrade dyes from industrial run-offs using a process called photocatalysis. Degradation of the dyes was measured by comparing certain parameters, such as pH, cloudiness, conductance and the levels of sulfides and sulphates, before and after treatment with the silver nanoparticles. Water quality significantly improved for several of these parameters, and when compared to World Health Organization standards for acceptable drinking water, were found to be within the recommended range following degradation of the dyes. Dr. Iqbal, one of the authors of the study, claims that “this innovation is extremely useful for economic development”.
Read the original article here:
Samaira Yasmin, Shazia Nouren, Haq Nawaz Bhatti, Dure Najaf Iqbal, Shan Iftikar, Junaid Majeed, Rahat Mustafa, Numrah Nisar, Jan Nisar, Arif Nazir and Munawar Iqbal: Green synthesis, characterization and photocatalytic applications of silver nanoparticles using Diospyrous lotus, 10.01.2020.