Comparative study of using five different leaf extracts in the green synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles for removal of arsenic from water

Vaibhav Kamath, Prayag Chandra, Gautham P. Jeppu

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Greenleaf extracts have been used as reducing agents for the synthesis of various nanoparticles because of their high antioxidant capacity and environmentally benign reducing properties. Five different plant species were chosen for this comparative study of the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles for arsenic adsorption. Based on the excellent reducing properties reported in previous studies, the following plant leaves were selected: black tea leaves (Camellia sinensis), oak tree leaves (Quercus virginiana), green tea leaves (C. sinensis), pomegranate leaves (Punica granatum), and eucalyptus leaves (Eucalyptus globulus). Iron nanoparticles were synthesized using the green synthesis method with the above leaves. The adsorption capacity of the nanoparticles was determined by carrying out kinetic and adsorption isotherm studies. Eucalyptus leaf nanoparticles were determined to be having the highest arsenic adsorption capacity of 39.84 mg/g, followed by oaktree leaf nanoparticles of adsorption capacity 32.05 mg/g. This indicates that locally available and nonagricultural trees are better suited for green synthesis of iron nanoparticle for arsenic remediation compared to green tea, or back tea leaves. The experiments revealed that the adsorption kinetics followed the pseudo-second-order rate equation and that the Langmuir equation could best describe adsorption isotherm data. The nanoparticles were characterized using SEM coupled with EDS, XRD, BET surface area, and UV Spectroscopy. The SEM images indicated that the iron oxide nanoparticles had spherical morphology with particle diameter around 10–100 nm and were amorphous in structure. The elemental analysis done by Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) showed their weight percentage of C, O, Fe, S to be 44.70%, 32.80%, 20.56%, and 0.65%, respectively.Highlights Iron nanoparticles were synthesized by five different leaf extracts of locally available plants with high reported antioxidant capacity. The five green-synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using EDS, XRD, FTIR, BET, and UV spectrometry. The adsorption behavior of the five nanoparticles was studied using kinetic and adsorption isotherm experiments. The best adsorbing nanoparticles were determined to be from oakleaf and eucalyptus leaf extracts, which are nonagricultural tree leaves, and can be obtained easily. The oak leaves of Quercus virginiana species were used for the first time for the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles and they showed promising results in the form of high adsorption capacity for the removal of As (V).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1294
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14-10-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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