Daniel Porter
Jun 19, 2012

Peel to particles: pomegranates

For everyone who has ever had too much pomegranate peel and not enough nanoparticles around their house, this may be your lucky day. A collaborative research team is working to solve just this problem, though not simply to get rid of a bunch of old pomegranate peels. Botanist Naheed Ahmad of Patna University and physicist colleague Seema Sharma of AN College, also in Patna, India, develop a process that utilizes peels as a reducing agent in the production of silver nanoparticles. Creating nanoparticles is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous technological challenge, and the team has made it a little more environmentally friendly -- the peels are favourable to the chemicals typically used in the process, and the reaction can proceed at room temperature, saving plenty of energy. Until nanoparticle production begins at large scales, it's unclear how impactful this research will be, but it doesn't hurt to start thinking carefully about the environmental impact of this process regardless.