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Nanoscale. 2013 Apr 21;5(8):3395-9. doi: 10.1039/c3nr34221b. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Biomimetic metal oxides for the extraction of nanoparticles from water.

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Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Science Drive 3, Singapore-117543.


Contamination of nanomaterials in the environment will pose significant health risks in the future. A viable purification method is necessary to address this problem. Here we report the synthesis and application of a series of metal oxides prepared using a biological template for the removal of nanoparticles from the aqueous environment. A simple synthesis of metal oxides such as ZnO, NiO, CuO, Co3O4 and CeO2 employing eggshell membrane (ESM) as a biotemplate is reported. The morphology of the metal oxide powders was characterized using electron microscopes and the lattice structure was established using X-ray diffraction methods. Extraction of nanoparticles from water was carried out to compare the efficiency of metal oxides. NiO showed good extraction efficiency in removing gold and silver nanoparticles from spiked water samples within an hour. Easy access and enhanced stability of metal oxides makes them interesting candidates for applications in industrial effluent treatments and water purifications.

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