Rapid synthesis of antimicrobial Fe/Cu alloy nanoparticles using Waste Silkworm Cocoon extract for cement mortar applications
S R Dhruval, Nakhul Pai, Shilpa Sanjay Dhanwant, Bathish Hussein, Sneha Nayak, C Vaman Rao, Anil Kumar and M Janakaraj
Rapid synthesis of nanoparticles using biological materials is gaining importance in recent years as it is eco-friendly and cost-effective with a lesser environmental burden. In this paper, we report the biosynthesis of alloy nanoparticle of iron and copper (FeCuNPs) from its precursor salts ferrous sulphate and copper sulphate using extract of waste silkworm cocoon, which will provide value addition to the byproduct of the silk industry. Proteins present in cocoon extract helped in reducing the precursor metal salt to nanoparticles by coating around the nanoparticles, thereby, increasing their stability, which was confirmed by FTIR. Characterisation of FeCuNPs was done by techniques like UV-visible spectrophotometry, particle size, and zeta potential and XRD. The synthesised FeCuNPs were tested for their antimicrobial effect against bacterial pathogens (Bacillus spp., E. coli, P. aeruginosa) and fungal pathogens like Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium spp. using known antibiotics as control. Application of biosynthesised FeCuNPs on mortar showed significant antimicrobial activity, hence these nanoparticles can be widely utilised as protective agents in cement mortars for inhibiting the growth of pathogens of environmental concern thereby avoiding early ageing of the mortar.