Eco-Friendly Creation of Silver-Infused Nanocomposite for Water Purification

Greg Howard
12th May, 2024

Eco-Friendly Creation of Silver-Infused Nanocomposite for Water Purification

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers created a new material that breaks down harmful dyes in water
  • The material, made with plant extract, is highly effective under UVA light
  • It also shows potential for inhibiting cancer cell growth
In recent years, environmental pollution has become an increasingly pressing issue, with the contamination of water bodies by synthetic dyes from textile industries being a significant contributor. These dyes, which often fail to bind tightly to fabrics, end up in aquatic environments through industrial wastewater, causing harm to ecosystems and potentially affecting human health[2]. Traditional wastewater treatment plants struggle to remove these persistent pollutants, leading to the enforcement of stricter discharge standards worldwide[3]. Responding to this challenge, researchers from the University of Mazandaran have developed a novel nanocomposite material that could potentially revolutionize the way we tackle dye pollution[1]. This material, known as silver-doped zinc oxide/magnesium oxide nanocomposite (Ag-doped ZnO/MgO-NCP), was synthesized using an eco-friendly method involving the extract of the Mentha pulegium plant. The team's investigation into the properties of the nanocomposite employed a variety of analytical techniques. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed the crystal structures of the composite's constituents, confirming the presence of cubic structures for silver and magnesium oxide and a hexagonal framework for zinc oxide. Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) and Particle Size Analysis (PSA) images indicated that the nanocomposite particles were spherical and averaged 10-16 nm in size. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) further confirmed the presence of zinc, magnesium, silver, and oxygen elements within the material. The photocatalytic activity of the Ag-doped ZnO/MgO-NCP was tested under UVA light for the degradation of Methylene blue (MB) and Rhodamine B (RhB) dyes at various temperatures. Impressively, at a pH of 9 and with a nanocomposite amount of approximately 30 mg, the degradation percentage of MB dye reached about 98%, showcasing the material's potential for effective dye remediation in wastewater. Moreover, the study also delved into the nanocomposite's cytotoxicity by evaluating its effects on the cancer CT-26 cell line using the MTT method. The results yielded an IC50 value of 250 μg/mL, indicating the concentration at which the nanocomposite inhibits cell growth by 50%. This aspect of the research is crucial as it suggests the nanocomposite's potential application in not only environmental cleanup but also in medical fields. This research builds upon previous studies that have explored the use of microorganisms to decolorize and degrade artificial dyes[3], and the antimicrobial properties of nanoparticles synthesized using plant extracts[4]. The University of Mazandaran's study takes a significant step forward by combining the green synthesis approach with the creation of a nanocomposite that is not only effective in degrading dyes but also exhibits cytotoxic properties against cancer cells. In conclusion, the Ag-doped ZnO/MgO-NCP synthesized using Mentha pulegium plant extract represents a promising approach to addressing the environmental pollution caused by synthetic dyes. Its high efficiency in breaking down dyes under UVA light, alongside its potential cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, underscores the dual benefit of this innovative material. As the textile industry continues to grapple with the environmental impact of dye wastewater, such advancements in green nanotechnology offer a beacon of hope for more sustainable and health-conscious solutions.



Main Study

1) Green synthesis of silver doped zinc oxide/magnesium oxide nanocomposite for waste water treatment and examination of their cytotoxicity properties.

Published 15th May, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) A critical review on the treatment of dye-containing wastewater: Ecotoxicological and health concerns of textile dyes and possible remediation approaches for environmental safety.

3) Bioremediation concepts for treatment of dye containing wastewater: a review.

Journal: Indian journal of experimental biology, Issue: Vol 41, Issue 9, Sep 2003

4) Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles with Antibacterial Activity Using Various Medicinal Plant Extracts: Morphology and Antibacterial Efficacy.

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