Green Synthesis of Nanocomposites: A Greener Approach for a Cleaner Future

Green Synthesis of Nanocomposites: A Greener Approach for a Cleaner Future

Meenal D. Patil (Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India), Suprimkumar D. Dhas (Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India), and Annasaheb V. Moholkar (Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8936-6.ch004
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Nanotechnology has been a dynamic research area over the past few decades because it assures the resolution to the problems that hamper progress. Currently, a new era of ‘green synthesis' is an emerging multidisciplinary field in nanotechnology which employs reliable, sustainable, low-cost, non-hazardous, and eco-friendly techniques. Green synthesis is considered a vital tool to reduce the negative impacts accompanying the traditional methods of synthesis for NPs commonly employed in industry and laboratory. This chapter unveils a comprehensive overview of the recent research on available green techniques for the synthesis of various nanocomposites in order to solve future generation challenges. This chapter also focuses on the green synthesis of various nanocomposites, synthesis parameters, potential applications, merits/demerits, and future prospects.
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In material science, ‘Green’ synthesis of nanocomposite has gained extensive research interest in the scientific community and is believed as an important tool to show synergetic effects of nanocomposites. The most widely used chemical synthesis route like the sol-gel (Ahir et al., 2021), pyrolysis (Mane & Moholkar, 2018), sonochemical method (Digraskar et al., 2021), SILAR (A. S. Patil et al., 2017), hydrothermal (Dhas et al., 2021), thermal decomposition (M. D. Patil et al., 2021), and many more. Whereas physical methods include sputtering (Agawane et al., 2015), microwave irradiation (Z. Liu et al., 2021), and ball-milling (Bhadane et al., 2020), etc. These chemical and physical synthesis methods are based on fundamental principles of synthesis (i.e., top-down, and bottom-up approaches). The traditional methods are toxic, less eco-friendly as compared with green synthesis (bottom-up approach). Therefore, green synthesis methods using benign reagents have been proposed, which will minimize the production of unnecessary and harmful waste, reduce pollution, use non-toxic solvents, and can be used for large-scale production. As external experimental conditions such as high pressure, energy, etc. are not required, the green synthesis methods are energy-saving progression. The synthesis of nanoparticles by employing diverse methods and controlling the process parameters to achieve desired morphology is reckoned for the specific application is of paramount importance to obtain desired nanoparticles with specific sizes and shapes. There are vivid varieties of appropriate and most suitable candidates for enormous industrial marketable and local applications. Using the green synthesis route, metal oxide, carbon-based materials, polymer-based materials, and their nanocomposites can be synthesized with different characteristic morphologies such as nanosheets, nanorods, nanowires, nanoplates, flower-like, sea-urchin like, etc (S.A. et al., 2016).

The different physicochemical, optoelectrical, and chemical compositional properties of green route synthesized nanocomposites have been exploited using modern up-to-date techniques viz. FE-SEM, TEM, AFM, FT-IR, XRD, NMR, XPS (Jagwani & Hari Krishna, 2021). These functionalized nanocomposites are used in various applications such as environmental remediation, water remediation, solar cells, gas sensors, biosensing, surface coating, clothing, cosmetics, smart agriculture, etc. in order to uplift the eco-friendliness (Jagwani & Hari Krishna, 2021; S.A. et al., 2016). Green nanocomposites reduce the exposure of hazardous chemicals to the environment which enables special recognition owing to their advanced properties.

Our main focus in the present work is to study the different green synthesis strategies for nanocomposites, synthesis parameters, and their applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Top-Down Approach: It involves the breaking down of the bulk material into nanosized structures or particles.

Green Synthesis: The use of environmentally compatible materials such as microorganisms and plants for the synthesis of nanoparticles/nanocomposites.

Extract: The concentrated preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance.

Synergetic Effect: When atleast two processes interact together and produce an effect which is greater than the cumulative effect that those processes produce when used individually.

Nanocomposite: A multiphase solid material where one of the phases has dimensions of less than 100 nanometres (nm) or structures having nano-scale repeat distances between the different phases that make up the material.

Nanotechnology: An emerging area of research which deal with the matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres.

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