Greener methods for making popular nanoparticle

April 24, 2013

Already renowned for its beneficial effects on human health, green tea could have a new role—along with other natural plant-based substances—in a healthier, more sustainable production of the most widely used family of nanoparticles, scientists say. Published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, their Perspective article concludes that greener methods for making silver nanoparticles are becoming available.

Rajender Varma, Mallikarjuna Nadagouda and colleagues explain that nanoparticles are used in a host of products, especially for their ability to kill bacteria and ward off undesirable odors. Those products include antibacterial socks, undergarments and other clothing. Existing processes for making silver nanoparticles require potentially hazardous substances, use a lot of energy and leave behind undesirable byproducts that require special handling. With production expected to increase, scientists are seeking greener ways to make silver nanoparticles.

The article describes how extracts from plants—such as plants, sunflowers, coffee, fruit and peppers—have emerged as possible substitutes that can replace toxic substances normally used to make the nanoparticles. In addition, extracts from bacteria and fungi, as well as natural polymers, like starches, could serve as substitutes. "These newer techniques for greener AgNP synthesis using biorenewable materials appear promising as they do not have any toxic materials deployed during the production process," the scientists say.

The article is titled "Greener Techniques for the Synthesis of Silver using Plant Extracts, Enzymes, Bacteria, Biodegradable Polymers and Microwaves."

Explore further: Researchers Examine the Environmental Effects of Silver Nanoparticles

More information: ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/sc4000362

Related Stories

Antibacterial silver nanoparticles are a blast

May 24, 2010

Writing in the International Journal of Nanoparticles, Rani Pattabi and colleagues at Mangalore University, explain how blasting silver nitrate solution with an electron beam can generate nanoparticles that are more effective ...

New evidence for natural synthesis of silver nanoparticles

May 11, 2011

Nanoparticles of silver are being found increasingly in the environment—and in environmental science laboratories. Because they have a variety of useful properties, especially as antibacterial and antifungal agents, ...

Are silver nanoparticles harmful?

March 14, 2012

Silver nanoparticles cause more damage to testicular cells than titanium dioxide nanoparticles, according to a recent study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. However, the use of both types may affect testicular ...

Recommended for you

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

Could stronger, tougher paper replace metal?

July 24, 2015

Researchers at the University of Maryland recently discovered that paper made of cellulose fibers is tougher and stronger the smaller the fibers get. For a long time, engineers have sought a material that is both strong (resistant ...

Changing the color of light

July 23, 2015

Researchers at the University of Delaware have received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to explore a new idea that could improve solar cells, medical imaging and even cancer treatments. Simply put, they want ...

Wafer-thin material heralds future of wearable technology

July 27, 2015

UOW's Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) has successfully pioneered a way to construct a flexible, foldable and lightweight energy storage device that provides the building blocks for next-generation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.