Zirconium oxide nanoparticles (ZrO2NPs) were prepared using the leaf extract of Muntingia calabura as a reductant. The absorption peak at 232 nm confirmed the signature peak for ZrO2NPs with band energy at 5.07 eV. The ZrO2NPs were tetragonal and highly crystalline, possessing a mean diameter of 14.83 nm as confirmed by XRD studies. The lattice constants (a = 0.362 nm and c = 0.511 nm) were consistent with the literature. Spherical nanoaggregates (29.25 nm) were seen in FESEM image and the specific signals for Zr and O were noticed in EDS image. The tetragonal phase of the ZrO2NPs were further confirmed from the XPS and Raman studies. PL spectrum had a sharp emission at 493 nm. The FTIR spectrum revealed the presence of various functional groups. ZrO2NPs were thermally stable with 5.76% total weight loss – as revealed from TGA profile. The photocatalytic breakdown of methylene blue (MB) dye under the influence of solar irradiation was performed using ZrO2NPs which exhibited 89.11% degradation within 5 h. Hence, the synthesized ZrO2NPs can be used as an alternate potential photocatalyst for the degradation of various dyes present in waste streams.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Environmental Science