Silver-loaded biomass (Delonix regia) with anti-bacterial properties as porous carbon composite towards comprehensive water purification

  • M. R. Louis
  • L. G. SorokhaibamEmail author
  • S. K. Chaudhary
  • S. Bundale
Original Paper


Greener and cost-effective activated carbon material with antimicrobial property may be a captivating alternative to biofouling prone commercial activated carbon. In this view, a green composite was prepared by fabricating surface of the carbon obtained from pods of Delonix regia (DRP), using green silver nanoparticles. These green silver nanoparticles exhibited ease of preparation and eco-friendlier nature, providing unique and desired combination of structure–function relationship. The aqueous leaf extract of Tabernaemontana divaricata was used as a green reducing/stabilizing agent. The prepared composite was characterized through standard morphological and chemical characterization techniques, and its potential applications for treatment of various biological and organic contaminants in wastewater were investigated. A removal efficiency of ~ 98–99% and 97.6% was achieved for Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli cells, respectively. To understand the plausible anti-bacterial mechanism, standard biochemical assays were performed. Further, removal of Candida albicans, biological load reduction in two natural lakes and dye removal studies were undertaken. The composite exhibited a broad range and comparatively higher antimicrobial activity than the nascent DRP. Green carbon composite could also successfully treat both cationic and anionic dyes. Thus, the fabrication of nascent carbon surface with green silver nanoparticles in preparation of the composite proved as an efficient strategy in the development of a multifunctional material with wide range of antimicrobial activity. The prepared composite may thus be a promising material for effective wastewater treatment with good potential for removal of both microbial and chemical contaminants for safe water disinfection.


Activated carbon Antimicrobial activity Dyes Green silver nanoparticles Lake water 



The authors would like to acknowledge Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility (SAIF) center, Panjab University, SAIF, IIT Madras, SAIF STIC, Cochin, SAEF, NEERI, Nagpur and SICART Gujarat for various material characterization support.

Supplementary material

13762_2019_2528_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 21 kb)


  1. Akerdi AG, Bahrami SH, Arami M, Pajootan E (2016) Photocatalytic discoloration of Acid Red 14 aqueous solution using titania nanoparticles immobilized on graphene oxide fabricated plate. Chemosphere 159:293–299. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali A, Gul A, Mannan A, Zia M (2018) Efficient metal adsorption and microbial reduction from Rawal Lake wastewater using metal nanoparticle coated cotton. Sci Total Environ 639:26–39. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Majdoub ZM, Owoseni A, Gaskell SJ, Barber J (2013) Effects of gentamicin on the proteomes of aerobic and oxygen-limited Escherichia coli. J Med Chem. Google Scholar
  4. Begum NA, Mondal S, Basu S et al (2009) Biogenic synthesis of Au and Ag nanoparticles using aqueous solutions of Black Tea leaf extracts. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 71:113–118. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellissima F, Bonini M, Giorgi R et al (2014) Antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles grafted on stone surface. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21:13278–13286. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bury PDS, Huang F, Li S et al (2017) Structural basis of the selectivity of GenN, an aminoglycoside N-methyltransferase involved in gentamicin biosynthesis. ACS Chem Biol 12:2779–2787. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cantarella M, Sanz R, Buccheri MA et al (2016) Immobilization of nanomaterials in PMMA composites for photocatalytic removal of dyes, phenols and bacteria from water. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 321:1–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chandraker K, Nagwanshi R, Jadhav SK et al (2017) Antibacterial properties of amino acid functionalized silver nanoparticles decorated on graphene oxide sheets. Spectrochim Acta Part A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 181:47–54. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Das SK, Khan MMR, Guha AK et al (2012) Silver-nano biohybride material: synthesis, characterization and application in water purification. Bioresour Technol 124:495–499. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. de Aragão AP, de Oliveira TM, Quelemes PV et al (2016) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using the seaweed Gracilaria birdiae and their antibacterial activity. Arab J Chem. Google Scholar
  11. Elango G, Roopan SM (2015) Green synthesis, spectroscopic investigation and photocatalytic activity of lead nanoparticles. Spectrochim Acta Part A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 139:367–373. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. El-Said WA, Fouad DM, Ali MH, El-Gahami MA (2018) Green synthesis of magnetic mesoporous silica nanocomposite and its adsorptive performance against organochlorine pesticides. Int J Environ Sci Technol 15:1731–1744. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eren T, Atar N, Yola ML et al (2015) Facile and green fabrication of silver nanoparticles on a polyoxometalate for Li-ion battery. Ionics (Kiel). Google Scholar
  14. Fan M, Gong L, Huang Y et al (2018) Facile preparation of silver nanoparticle decorated chitosan cryogels for point-of-use water disinfection. Sci Total Environ 613–614:1317–1323. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fatimah I (2016) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using extract of Parkia speciosa Hassk pods assisted by microwave irradiation. J Adv Res 7:961–969. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gupta VK, Atar N, Yola ML et al (2013) Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using chitosan immobilized Bacillus cereus: nanocatalytic studies. J Mol Liq 188:81–88. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gurunathan S, Kalishwaralal K, Vaidyanathan R et al (2009) Biosynthesis, purification and characterization of silver nanoparticles using Escherichia coli. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 74:328–335. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jin L, Sun Q, Xu Q, Xu Y (2015) Adsorptive removal of anionic dyes from aqueous solutions using microgel based on nanocellulose and polyvinylamine. Bioresour Technol 197:348–355. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ju X, Hou J, Tang Y et al (2016) ZrO2 nanoparticles confined in CMK-3 as highly effective sorbent for phosphate adsorption. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 230:188–195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Karthik C, Radha KV (2016) Silver nanoparticle loaded activated carbon: an escalated nanocomposite with antimicrobial property. Orient J Chem 32:735–741. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Khalilzadeh MA, Borzoo M (2016) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using onion extract and their application for the preparation of a modified electrode for determination of ascorbic acid. J Food Drug Anal 24:796–803. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Khan AU, Yuan Q, Wei Y et al (2016a) Ultra-efficient photocatalytic deprivation of methylene blue and biological activities of biogenic silver nanoparticles. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 159:49–58. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Khan ZUH, Khan A, Shah A et al (2016b) Photocatalytic, antimicrobial activities of biogenic silver nanoparticles and electrochemical degradation of water soluble dyes at glassy carbon/silver modified past electrode using buffer solution. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 156:100–107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kumar V, Yadav SK (2009) Plant-mediated synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles and their applications. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 176061:151–157. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lawrie K, Mills A, Figueredo-Fernández M et al (2015) UV dosimetry for solar water disinfection (SODIS) carried out in different plastic bottles and bags. Sens Actuators B Chem 208:608–615. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Li Y, Meas A, Shan S et al (2016) Production and optimization of bamboo hydrochars for adsorption of Congo red and 2-naphthol. Bioresour Technol 207:379–386. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lin JT, Connelly MB, Amolo C et al (2005) Global transcriptional response of Bacillus subtilis to treatment with subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics that inhibit protein synthesis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49:1915–1926. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Louis MR, Sorokhaibam LG, Bhandari VM, Bundale S (2018) Multifunctional activated carbon with antimicrobial property derived from Delonix regia biomaterial for treatment of wastewater. J Environ Chem Eng 6:169–181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lu D, Chai W, Yang M et al (2016) Visible light induced photocatalytic removal of Cr(VI) over TiO2-based nanosheets loaded with surface-enriched CoOx nanoparticles and its synergism with phenol oxidation. Appl Catal B Environ 190:44–65. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moritz M, Geszke-Moritz M (2013) The newest achievements in synthesis, immobilization and practical applications of antibacterial nanoparticles. Chem Eng J 228:596–613. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nasiriboroumand M, Montazer M, Barani H (2018) Preparation and characterization of biocompatible silver nanoparticles using pomegranate peel extract. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 179:98–104. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Osonga FJ, Kariuki VM, Yazgan I et al (2016) Synthesis and antibacterial characterization of sustainable nanosilver using naturally-derived macromolecules. Sci Total Environ 563–564:977–986. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Otari SV, Patil RM, Nadaf NH et al (2012) Green biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from an actinobacteria Rhodococcus sp. Mater Lett 72:92–94. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Painuli R, Joshi P, Kumar D (2018) Cost-effective synthesis of bifunctional silver nanoparticles for simultaneous colorimetric detection of Al(III) and disinfection. Sens Actuators B Chem 272:79–90. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parandhaman T, Das A, Ramalingam B et al (2015) Antimicrobial behavior of biosynthesized silica–silver nanocomposite for water disinfection: a mechanistic perspective. J Hazard Mater 290:117–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Patra JK, Das G, Baek K-H (2016) Phyto-mediated biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using the rind extract of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) under photo-catalyzed condition and investigation of its antibacterial, anticandidal and antioxidant efficacy. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 161:200–210. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pinto RJB, Marques PAAP, Neto CP et al (2009) Antibacterial activity of nanocomposites of silver and bacterial or vegetable cellulosic fibers. Acta Biomater 5:2279–2289. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Plachtová P, Medříková Z, Zbořil R et al (2018) Iron and iron oxide nanoparticles synthesized using green tea extract: differences in ecotoxicological profile and ability to degrade malachite green.  Sustain Chem Eng. Google Scholar
  39. Rai MK, Deshmukh SD, Ingle AP, Gade AK (2012) Silver nanoparticles: the powerful nanoweapon against multidrug-resistant bacteria. J Appl Microbiol 112:841–852. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ramalingam B, Khan MMR, Mondal B et al (2015) Facile synthesis of silver nanoparticles decorated magnetic-chitosan microsphere for efficient removal of dyes and microbial contaminants. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 3:2291–2302. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rasheed T, Bilal M, Iqbal HMN, Li C (2017) Green biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using leaves extract of Artemisia vulgaris and their potential biomedical applications. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 158:408–415. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rostami-Vartooni A, Nasrollahzadeh M, Salavati-Niasari M, Atarod M (2016) Photocatalytic degradation of azo dyes by titanium dioxide supported silver nanoparticles prepared by a green method using Carpobrotus acinaciformis extract. J Alloys Compd 689:15–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sadhasivam S, Shanmugam P, Yun K (2010) Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles by Streptomyces hygroscopicus and antimicrobial activity against medically important pathogenic microorganisms. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 81:358–362. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sebastian M, Aravind A, Mathew B (2019) Green silver nanoparticles based multi-technique sensor for environmental hazardous Cu(II) ion. Bionanoscience 9:373–385. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shao W, Liu X, Min H et al (2015) Preparation, characterization, and antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticle-decorated graphene oxide nanocomposite. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7:6966–6973. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sim KM, Kim KH, Hwang GB et al (2014) Development and evaluation of antimicrobial activated carbon fiber filters using Sophora flavescens nanoparticles. Sci Total Environ 493:291–297. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Singh RK, Babu V, Philip L, Ramanujam S (2016) Disinfection of water using pulsed power technique: effect of system parameters and kinetic study. Chem Eng J 284:1184–1195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Singhal A, Gupta A (2018) Efficient utilization of Sal deoiled seed cake (DOC) as reducing agent in synthesis of silver nanoparticles: application in treatment of dye containing wastewater and harnessing reusability potential for cost-effectiveness. J Mol Liq 268:691–699. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sivaraj R, Rahman PKSM, Rajiv P et al (2014) Biogenic copper oxide nanoparticles synthesis using Tabernaemontana divaricate leaf extract and its antibacterial activity against urinary tract pathogen. Spectrochim Acta Part A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 133:178–181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Surudžić R, Janković A, Bibić N et al (2016) Physico-chemical and mechanical properties and antibacterial activity of silver/poly(vinyl alcohol)/graphene nanocomposites obtained by electrochemical method. Compos Part B 85:102–112. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tahir K, Nazir S, Li B et al (2015) Enhanced visible light photocatalytic inactivation of Escherichia coli using silver nanoparticles as photocatalyst. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 153:261–266. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tang C, Sun W, Yan W (2014) Green and facile fabrication of silver nanoparticles loaded activated carbon fibers with long-lasting antibacterial activity. RSC Adv 4:523–530. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tang C, Bai H, Liu L et al (2016) A green approach assembled multifunctional Ag/AgBr/TNF membrane for clean water production & disinfection of bacteria through utilizing visible light. Appl Catal B Environ 196:57–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tang C, Hu D, Cao Q et al (2017) Silver nanoparticles-loaded activated carbon fibers using chitosan as binding agent: preparation, mechanism, and their antibacterial activity. Appl Surf Sci 394:457–465. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Taruna Kaushal J, Bhatti J, Kumar P (2016) Green synthesis and physico-chemical study of silver nanoparticles extracted from a natural source Luffa acutangula. J Mol Liq 224:991–998. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thamilselvi V, Radha KV (2017) Silver nanoparticle loaded corncob adsorbent for effluent treatment. J Environ Chem Eng 5:1843–1854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tran PA, Hocking DM, O’Connor AJ (2015) In situ formation of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles and the impregnation of hydrophobic polycaprolactone matrix for antimicrobial medical device applications. Mater Sci Eng, C 47:63–69. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tuan TQ, Van Son N, Dung HTK et al (2011) Preparation and properties of silver nanoparticles loaded in activated carbon for biological and environmental applications. J Hazard Mater 192:1321–1329. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vigneshwaran N, Kathe AA, Varadarajan PV et al (2007) Silver-protein (core-shell) nanoparticle production using spent mushroom substrate. Langmuir 23:7113–7117. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vijayakumar PS, Prasad BLV (2009) Intracellular biogenic silver nanoparticles for the generation of carbon supported antiviral and sustained bactericidal agents. Langmuir 25:11741–11747. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vilchis-Nestor AR, Trujillo-Reyes J, Colín-Molina JA et al (2014) Biogenic silver nanoparticles on carbonaceous material from sewage sludge for degradation of methylene blue in aqueous solution. Int J Environ Sci Technol 11:977–986. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Villanueva-Ibáñez M, Yañez-Cruz MG, Álvarez-García R et al (2015) Aqueous corn husk extract–mediated green synthesis of AgCl and Ag nanoparticles. Mater Lett 152:166–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wei X, Zhou H, Xu L et al (2014) Sunlight-induced biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles by animal and fungus biomass and their characterization. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 89:305–311. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Xiao G, Zhang X, Zhang W et al (2015) Visible-light-mediated synergistic photocatalytic antimicrobial effects and mechanism of Ag-nanoparticles@chitosan–TiO2 organic–inorganic composites for water disinfection. Appl Catal B Environ 170:255–262. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Yola ML, Eren T, Atar N, Wang S (2014) Adsorptive and photocatalytic removal of reactive dyes by silver nanoparticle-colemanite ore waste. Chem Eng J 242:333–340. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryVisvesvaraya National Institute of TechnologyNagpurIndia
  2. 2.School of BiotechnologyHislop CollegeNagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations