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Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 33985

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
DCCI—Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Genova, Via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy
Interests: nanotechnology and nanoparticles chemical synthesis (bottom-up processes, top-down processes); solids disaggregation and etching (chemical etching, templated etching, and mask etching); lithography (stencil lithography, nanolithography); nano-manufacturing (patterning, nanomachining); modelling of heat and mass transfer in condensed matter
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Guest Editor
Department of Functional Materials and Hydrogen Technology, Military University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland
Interests: scanning probe microscopy; nanocomposites; nanoporous oxides of valve metals; applications of anodic porous alumina; SERS; biocompatibility of materials; nanoindentation; dental restorative materials and implants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The huge development of nanotechnologies has opened new issues concerning the effects of nanostructured elements or compounds on organisms and the environment. This scenario is complicated by the limited amount of detailed literature data on toxicology, bio-accumulation, and the mutagenic effects of the aforementioned materials on living species. Additionally, the synthesis of nanomaterials by chemical processes requires the use of noxious reactants that, in turn, impose compliance with stringent criteria of safety control and health safeguarding. For these reasons, the recent synthesis techniques aim to find new chemico-physical process schemes relying upon simpler, ecological, and energy-saving unit operations based on green compounds.

This Special Issue has the goal of collecting new results related to sustainable, eco-friendly, and safer products capable of minimizing the environmental impact of the global manufacturing chain regarding nanomaterials. This deals with both innovative nanomaterials, for which the fabrication techniques are more eco-friendly than for those investigated so far, as well as with innovative technological approaches to already established nanomaterials. All researchers interested in this broad area are warmly invited to present full papers, communications, and reviews.

The relevant topics include but are not limited to those listed under the Keywords listed below.

Prof. Dr. Andrea P. Reverberi
Dr. Marco Salerno
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Green nanotechnology
  • Green nanosynthesis
  • Bionanotechnology
  • Phyto nanotechnology
  • Eco-friendly processes
  • Cleaner production
  • Sustainability
  • Self-assembly and self-organization
  • Natural lithography
  • Biodegradable or aqueous-solvent-based resistance
  • Material consumption reduction
  • Bioplastics
  • Inherent safety
  • Occupation hazard

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
Green Synthesis of Co-Zn Spinel Ferrite Nanoparticles: Magnetic and Intrinsic Antimicrobial Properties
by Alexander Omelyanchik, Kateryna Levada, Stanislav Pshenichnikov, Maryam Abdolrahim, Miran Baricic, Anastasiya Kapitunova, Alima Galieva, Stanislav Sukhikh, Lidiia Astakhova, Sergey Antipov, Bruno Fabiano, Davide Peddis and Valeria Rodionova
Materials 2020, 13(21), 5014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13215014 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4113
Abstract
Spinel ferrite magnetic nanoparticles have attracted considerable attention because of their high and flexible magnetic properties and biocompatibility. In this work, a set of magnetic nanoparticles of cobalt ferrite doped with zinc was synthesized via the eco-friendly sol-gel auto-combustion method. Obtained particles displayed [...] Read more.
Spinel ferrite magnetic nanoparticles have attracted considerable attention because of their high and flexible magnetic properties and biocompatibility. In this work, a set of magnetic nanoparticles of cobalt ferrite doped with zinc was synthesized via the eco-friendly sol-gel auto-combustion method. Obtained particles displayed a room-temperature ferromagnetic behavior with tuned by chemical composition values of saturation magnetization and coercivity. The maximal values of saturation magnetization ~74 Am2/kg were found in cobalt ferrite nanoparticles with a 15–35% molar fraction of cobalt replaced by zinc ions. At the same time, the coercivity exhibited a gradually diminishing trend from ~140 to ~5 mT whereas the concentration of zinc was increased from 0 to 100%. Consequently, nanoparticles produced by the proposed method possess highly adjustable magnetic properties to satisfy the requirement of a wide range of possible applications. Further prepared nanoparticles were tested with bacterial culture to display the influence of chemical composition and magnetic structure on nanoparticles-bacterial cell interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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12 pages, 6197 KiB  
Article
Obsidian as a Raw Material for Eco-Friendly Synthesis of Magnetic Zeolites
by Claudia Belviso, Davide Peddis, Gaspare Varvaro, Maryam Abdolrahimi, Andrea Pietro Reverberi and Francesco Cavalcante
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204633 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
A sample of rhyolitic obsidian (OS) was used as raw material for zeolite synthesis by long (4 days) and fast (2 h)-aging hydrothermal processes. Zeolite synthesis was also performed by a fast (2 h) sonication method. The products were analysed by X-ray diffraction [...] Read more.
A sample of rhyolitic obsidian (OS) was used as raw material for zeolite synthesis by long (4 days) and fast (2 h)-aging hydrothermal processes. Zeolite synthesis was also performed by a fast (2 h) sonication method. The products were analysed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) both immediately after and 3 years after their formation in order to determine the stability of synthetic materials according to the method used. The results confirm zeolitization of obsidian both by long-aging conventional hydrothermal heating and fast hydrothermal process. However, the data highlight the efficiency of direct ultrasound energy in achieving more stable zeolite crystals over time. These results carried out using a natural source, follow those already obtained using wastes and pure sources as raw materials thus providing a definitive validation of the different mechanisms controlling zeolite formation according to the process used. Moreover, the results confirm the effectiveness of ultrasonic energy in the formation of zeolites that are more stable over time. Due to the chemical composition of the obsidian precursor, all synthetic zeolites show good magnetic properties (i.e., saturation magnetization), in view to potential magnetic separation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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14 pages, 2416 KiB  
Article
Nanoparticles Synthesis in Wet-Operating Stirred Media: Investigation on the Grinding Efficiency
by Marco Trofa, Gaetano D’Avino, Bruno Fabiano and Marco Vocciante
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194281 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1980
Abstract
The use of nanomaterials, thanks to their peculiar properties and versatility, is becoming central in an increasing number of scientific and engineering applications. At the same time, the growing concern towards environmental issues drives the seeking of alternative strategies for a safer and [...] Read more.
The use of nanomaterials, thanks to their peculiar properties and versatility, is becoming central in an increasing number of scientific and engineering applications. At the same time, the growing concern towards environmental issues drives the seeking of alternative strategies for a safer and more sustainable production of nanoparticles. Here we focus on a low-energy, magnetically-driven wet milling technique for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles starting from a bulky solid. The proposed approach is simple, economical, sustainable, and provides numerous advantages, including the minimization of the nanoparticles air dispersion and a greater control over the final product. This process is investigated by experiments and discrete element method simulations to reproduce the movement of the grinding beads and study the collision dynamics. The effect of several parameters is analyzed, including the stirring bar velocity, its inclination, and the grinding bead size, to quantify the actual frequency, energy, and angle of collisions. Experiments reveal a non-monotonous effect of the stirring velocity on the abrasion efficiency, whereas numerical simulations highlight the prevalent tangential nature of collisions, which is only weakly affected by the stirring velocity. On the other hand, the stirring velocity affects the collision frequency and relative kinetic energy, suggesting the existence of an optimal parameters combination. Although a small variation of the stirring bar length does not significantly affect the collision dynamics, the use of grinding beads of different dimensions offers several tuning opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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17 pages, 4260 KiB  
Article
Effective Elimination of Contaminant Antibiotics Using High-Surface-Area Magnetic-Functionalized Graphene Nanocomposites Developed from Plastic Waste
by Noha A. Elessawy, M. H. Gouda, Safaa M. Ali, M. Salerno and M. S. Mohy Eldin
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071517 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
The presence of pharmaceutical residues in aquatic environments represents a risk for the equilibrium of the ecosystem and may seriously affect human safety itself in the long term. To address this issue, we have synthesized functional materials based on highly-reduced graphene oxide (HRGO), [...] Read more.
The presence of pharmaceutical residues in aquatic environments represents a risk for the equilibrium of the ecosystem and may seriously affect human safety itself in the long term. To address this issue, we have synthesized functional materials based on highly-reduced graphene oxide (HRGO), sulfonated graphene (SG), and magnetic sulfonated graphene (MSG). The method of synthesis adopted is simple and inexpensive and makes use of plastic bottle waste as the raw material. We have tested the fabricated materials for their adsorption efficiency against two model antibiotics in aqueous solutions, namely Garamycin and Ampicillin. Our tests involved the optimization of different experimental parameters of the adsorption process, such as starting antibiotic concentration, amount of adsorbent, and time. Finally, we characterized the effect of the antibiotic adsorption process on common living organisms, namely Escherichia coli DH5α (E. coli DH5α) bacteria. The results obtained demonstrate the efficiency of the method in addressing the issue of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which will help in preventing changes in the ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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17 pages, 5056 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Aqueous Leaf Extract of Mimosa albida (Mimosoideae): Characterization and Antioxidant Activity
by Fernanda Pilaquinga, Dennis Amaguaña, Jeroni Morey, Mauricio Moncada-Basualto, Josué Pozo-Martínez, Claudio Olea-Azar, Lenys Fernández, Patricio Espinoza-Montero, Eliza Jara-Negrete, Lorena Meneses, Fernanda López, Alexis Debut and Nieves Piña
Materials 2020, 13(3), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030503 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3506
Abstract
The search for sensitive and rapid analytical techniques for the determination of natural antioxidants is an area in constant growth due, among other aspects, to the complexity of plant matrices. In this study, silver nanoparticles prepared with the aqueous extract of Mimosa albida [...] Read more.
The search for sensitive and rapid analytical techniques for the determination of natural antioxidants is an area in constant growth due, among other aspects, to the complexity of plant matrices. In this study, silver nanoparticles prepared with the aqueous extract of Mimosa albida leaves were used to assess their polyphenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Silver nanoparticles were characterized by different techniques. As a result, nanoparticles of 6.5 ± 3.1 nm were obtained. The total phenolic content in the extract was 1320.4 ± 17.6 mg of gallic acid equivalents GAE· 100 g−1 and in the nanoparticles 257.3 ± 5.1 mg GAE· 100 g−1. From the phenolic profile analyzed by ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) with a diode-array detector (DAD), the presence of apigenin and luteolin in the plant extract is postulated. The antioxidant capacity measured by oxygen radical absorbance capacity ORAC-fluorescein assay was 86917 ± 6287 and 7563 ± 967 µmol ET g−1 in the extract and nanoparticles respectively. Electrochemical analysis by cyclic voltammetry (CV) confirmed the effective reduction capacity of the Mimosa albida leaves extract to reduce Ag ions to AgNPs and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) suggested the presence of two main reducing agents in the extract. From this study, it was concluded that the aqueous extract of Mimosa albida contains reducing agents capable of synthesizing silver nanoparticles, which can be used in the phytochemical industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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14 pages, 3383 KiB  
Article
Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles by Low-Energy Wet Bead Milling of Metal Spheres
by Andrea Pietro Reverberi, Marco Vocciante, Marco Salerno, Maurizio Ferretti and Bruno Fabiano
Materials 2020, 13(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010063 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4791
Abstract
A low-energy, magnetically-driven milling technique for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles is proposed, where the grinding medium and the metal precursor consisting of silver spheres have the same shape and size, belonging to a millimetric scale. The process is carried out at room [...] Read more.
A low-energy, magnetically-driven milling technique for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles is proposed, where the grinding medium and the metal precursor consisting of silver spheres have the same shape and size, belonging to a millimetric scale. The process is carried out at room temperature in aqueous solvent, where different types of capping agents have been dissolved to damp particle agglomeration. The particle diameters, determined by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy, have been compared with those typical of conventional wet-chemical bottom-up synthesis processes. The use of milling spheres and metal precursor of the same initial shape and size allows to overcome some drawbacks and limitations distinctive of conventional bead-milling equipment, generally requiring complex operations of separation and recovery of milling media. The milling bead/nanoparticle diameter ratio obtained by this approach is higher than that typical of most previous wet bead milling techniques. The method described here represents a simple, one-pot, cost-effective, and eco-friendly process for the synthesis of metal nanoparticles starting from a bulky solid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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14 pages, 3996 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Silver Nanoparticle Synthesis by Escherichia Coli Transformed with Candida Albicans Metallothionein Gene
by Qunying Yuan, Manjula Bomma and Zhigang Xiao
Materials 2019, 12(24), 4180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12244180 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2637
Abstract
In this study, the metallothionein gene of Candida albicans (C. albicans) was assembled by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), inserted into pUC19 vector, and further transformed into Escherichia coli (E. coli) DH5α cells. The capacity of these recombinant E. coli DH5α [...] Read more.
In this study, the metallothionein gene of Candida albicans (C. albicans) was assembled by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), inserted into pUC19 vector, and further transformed into Escherichia coli (E. coli) DH5α cells. The capacity of these recombinant E. coli DH5α cells to synthesize silver nanoparticles was examined. Our results demonstrated that the expression of C. albicans metallothionein in E. coli promoted the bacterial tolerance to metal ions and increased yield of silver nanoparticle synthesis. The compositional and morphological analysis of the silver nanoparticles revealed that silver nanoparticles synthesized by the engineered E. coli cells are around 20 nm in size, and spherical in shape. Importantly, the silver nanoparticles produced by the engineered cells were more homogeneous in shape and size than those produced by bacteria lack of the C. albicans metallothionein. Our study provided preliminary information for further development of the engineered E. coli as a platform for large-scale production of uniform nanoparticles for various applications in nanotechnology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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14 pages, 4148 KiB  
Article
High Performance Bacteria Anchored by Nanoclay to Boost Straw Degradation
by Minghao Li, Caiguo Tang, Xue Chen, Shengwei Huang, Weiwei Zhao, Dongqing Cai, Zhengyan Wu and Lifang Wu
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12071148 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Generally, crop straw degrades slowly in soil, which is unfavorable for tillage and next crop growth. Thus, it is important to develop a promising technology to boost degradation of straw. Herein, a nanobiosystem has been developed by loading bacterial mixture in nanostructured attapulgite [...] Read more.
Generally, crop straw degrades slowly in soil, which is unfavorable for tillage and next crop growth. Thus, it is important to develop a promising technology to boost degradation of straw. Herein, a nanobiosystem has been developed by loading bacterial mixture in nanostructured attapulgite (ATP) and using it as a straw returning agent (SRA). Therein, ATP could effectively anchor bacteria to the surface of straw and greatly facilitate the adhesion and growth of bacteria. Consequently, this technology could effectively accelerate the degradation and transformation of straw into nutrients, including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and organic matters (OM). Pot and field tests indicated that SRA displayed significant positive effects on the growth of the next crop. Importantly, SRA could effectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions from farmland, which is beneficial for the environment. Therefore, this work provides a facile and promising method to facilitate the degradation of straw, which might have a potential application value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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15 pages, 3694 KiB  
Article
Light-Emitting Porphyrin Derivative Obtained from a Subproduct of the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid: A Promising Material for OLED Applications
by Nayane Maria de Amorim Lima, Harold José Camargo Avila, Cleber Fabiano do Nascimento Marchiori, Samuel Gondim Sampaio, João Paulo Ferreira Mota, Viviane Gomes Pereira Ribeiro, Claudenilson da Silva Clemente, Giuseppe Mele, Marco Cremona and Selma Elaine Mazzetto
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12071063 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4679
Abstract
In this work, the meso-tetra[4-(2-(3-n-pentadecylphenoxy)ethoxy]phenylporphyrin (H2P), obtained from the cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), and its zinc (ZnP) and copper (CuP) metallic complexes, were applied as emitting layers in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). These compounds were characterized via optical [...] Read more.
In this work, the meso-tetra[4-(2-(3-n-pentadecylphenoxy)ethoxy]phenylporphyrin (H2P), obtained from the cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), and its zinc (ZnP) and copper (CuP) metallic complexes, were applied as emitting layers in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). These compounds were characterized via optical and electrochemical analysis and the electroluminescent properties of the device have been studied. We performed a cyclic voltammetry analysis to determine the Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital (HOMO) and Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital (LUMO) energy levels for the porphyrins, in order to select the proper materials to assemble the device. H2P and ZnP presented fluorescence emission band in the red region, from 601 nm to 718 nm. Moreover, we verified that the introduction of bulky substituents hinders the π–π stacking, favoring the emission in the film. In addition, the strongest emitter, ZnP, presented a threshold voltage of 4 V and the maximum irradiance of 10 μW cm−2 with a current density (J) of 15 mA cm−2 at 10 V. The CuP complex showed to be a favorable material for the design of OLEDs in the infrared. These results suggest that the porphyrins derived from a renewable source, such as CNSL, is a promising material to be used in organic optoelectronic devices such as OLEDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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Review

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20 pages, 5645 KiB  
Review
Recent Purification Technologies and Human Health Risk Assessment of Microplastics
by Jun Woo Park, Su Jin Lee, Dae Youn Hwang and Sungbaek Seo
Materials 2020, 13(22), 5196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13225196 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4430
Abstract
Microplastic (MP)-based contaminants in the environment are pervasive, but standard technologies used for MP identification have not yet been reported. Human beings take up MPs from the environmental ecosystem through the food chain without any particular purification. MPs can penetrate into capillaries from [...] Read more.
Microplastic (MP)-based contaminants in the environment are pervasive, but standard technologies used for MP identification have not yet been reported. Human beings take up MPs from the environmental ecosystem through the food chain without any particular purification. MPs can penetrate into capillaries from the bloodstream, resulting in endocrine system disorders or toxicity. In this review, we introduced several technologies, such as filtration using membranes, biological degradation, electrocoagulation, and removal using nanoparticles, used for the purification of MPs or related contaminants. Current studies of identification methods of MPs and evaluation tests of MPs exposure-based harmfulness in vitro and in vivo were summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Eco-Friendly Nanotechnology)
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