Biogenic Nanosilica Synthesis Employing Agro-Waste Rice Straw and Its Application Study in Photocatalytic Degradation of Cationic Dye
The current study aims towards a holistic utilization of agro-waste rice straw (RS) to synthesize nanosilica (SiNPs) employing the sol–gel method. The effect of ashing temperature was evaluated for the synthesis process. X-ray diffraction demonstrated a broad spectrum at 21.22◦ for SiNPs obtained using RSA-600, signifying its amorphous nature, whereas crystalline SiNPs were synthesized using RSA-900. The EDX and FTIR spectra confirmed the significant peaks of Si and O for amorphous SiNPs, confirming their purity over crystalline SiNPs. FE-SEM and TEM micrographs indicated the spheroid morphology of the SiNPs with an average size of 27.47 nm (amorphous SiNPs) and 52.79 nm (crystalline SiNPs). Amorphous SiNPs possessed a high surface area of 226.11 m² /g over crystalline SiNPs (84.45 m² /g). The results obtained attest that the amorphous SiNPs possessed better attributes than crystalline SiNPs, omitting the need to incorporate high temperature. Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue using SiNPs reflected that 66.26% of the dye was degraded in the first 10 min. The degradation study showed first-order kinetics with a half-life of 6.79 min. The cost-effective and environmentally friendly process offers a sustainable route to meet the increasing demand for SiNPs in industrial sectors. The study proposes a sustainable solution to stubble burning, intending towards zero waste generation, bioeconomy, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely SDG 13(Climate Action), SDG 3(Good health and well-being), SDG 7(use of crop residues in industrial sectors) and SDG 8 (employment generation).