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Review article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Harnessing plant extracts for eco-friendly synthesis of iron nanoparticle (Fe-NPs): Characterization and their potential applications for ameliorating environmental pollutants

Haider, Fasih Ullah; Zulfiqar, Usman; ul Ain, Noor; et al.


Iron-nanoparticles (Fe-NPs) are increasingly been utilized in environmental applications due to their efficacy and strong catalytic activities. The novelty of nanoparticle science had attracted many researchers and especially for their green synthesis, which can effectively reuse biological resources during the polymerization reactions. Thus, the synthesis of Fe-NPs utilizing plant extracts could be considered as the eco-friendly, simple, rapid, energy-efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective. The green synthesis route can be recognized as a practical, valuable, and economically effective alternative for large-scale production. During the production process, some biomolecules present in the extracts undergo metal salts reduction, which can serve as both a capping and reducing mechanism, enhancing the reactivity and stability of green-synthesized Fe-NPs. The diversity of species provided a wide range of potential sources for green synthesis of Fe-NPs. With improved understanding of the specific biomolecules involved in the bioreduction and stabilization processes, it will become easier to identify and utilize new, potential plant materials for Fe-NPs synthesis. Newly synthesized Fe-NPs require different characterization techniques such as transmission electron microscope, ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, and X-ray absorption fine structure, etc, for the determination of size, composition, and structure. This review described and assessed the recent advancements in understanding green-synthesized Fe-NPs derived from plant-based material. Detailed information on various plant materials suitable of yielding valuable biomolecules with potential diverse applications in environmental safety. Additionally, this review examined the characterization techniques employed to analyze Fe-NPs, their stability, accumulation, mobility, and fate in the environment. Holistically, the review assessed the applications of Fe-NPs in remediating wastewaters, organic residues, and inorganic contaminants. The toxicity of Fe-NPs was also addressed; emphasizing the need to refine the synthesis of green Fe-NPs to ensure safety and environmental friendliness. Moving forward, the future challenges and opportunities associated with the green synthesis of Fe-NPs would motivate novel research about nanoparticles in new directions.


Green synthesis; Iron-nanoparticles; Plant extract; heavy metals; pollution; remediation

Published in

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
2024, Volume: 281, article number: 116620

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Plant Biotechnology

    Publication identifier


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