RSC Adv. 2023 Jan 6;13(3):1497-1515. doi: 10.1039/d2ra06967a. eCollection 2023 Jan 6.
The present study focuses on the green synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) using a novel Lepidagathis ananthapuramensis (LA) leaf extract and a systematic study on the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) dye. The structural, thermal, morphological, optical, and surface area analysis of prepared ZnO NPs were examined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-visible spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The LA stabilised ZnO NPs produced NPs with diverse morphologies, low band gap and cost-effective high yield of production. A systematic study has been carried out to determine the crystallinity and crystallite size of ZnO NPs based on the concentration of Zn(NO3)2 precursor, concentration of LA leaf extract, calcination temperature and calcination time. The crystallinity and crystallite size of ZnO NPs were evaluated based on the XRD technique. The photocatalytic activity of ZnO NPs was thoroughly investigated for the degradation of MB dye based on various physicochemical parameters such as reaction time, concentration of catalyst, concentration of precursors, concentration of LA extract, concentration of MB, calcination temperature and calcination time. These systematic photocatalytic studies followed green protocols and provided an excellent photocatalytic efficiency result of 96-98.5% towards the decomposition of MB. Hence, this material can work as a potential candidate for waste water treatment by also degrading other toxic dyes.