Research carried out by Patna University botanist, Naheed Ahmad and physicist, Seema Sharma, has yielded an environment friendly method to synthesize silver nanoparticles. The study titled "Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from biowaste pomegranate peels" is published in the International Journal of Nanoparticles.
The study could pave the way for effective disposal of food waste. Known by the botanical name of Punica Granatum, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Mediterranean countries over the ages and in India, it is native to the northern parts. The scientists at the Patna University, India, have attempted to employ pomegranate peel as a reducing agent for synthesizing silver nanoparticles. Their method of synthesis is touted to be environment friendly as it eliminates the use of chemical reducing agents. In addition, the need for heating the reaction mixture is eliminated as the new process can be carried out at room temperature. Pomegranates are rich in powerful antioxidants. The biological cofactors contained in the pomegranate peels are assumed to perform the function of chemical reagents in facilitating the development of silver nanoparticles from the silver nitrate starting material. The diameter of the nanoparticles generated using these natural reagents is 5 nm. The nanoparticles were studied by employing a host of techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis spectroscopy, selected area electron diffraction, Fourier-Transform infrared spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy.