SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NEEM-BASED ZINC OXIDE PHOTOCATALYST
The use of chemicals for the synthesis of photocatalyts poses threat to the environment. In this study, an active photocatalyst, Dalbejiya Dongoyaro (Azadirachta indica)-based zinc oxide (ZnO) was biosynthesized from zinc acetate dihydrate using sol gel and precipitation methods. The synthesized samples were characterized using Fourier Transfer InfraRed (FTIR), X-Ray Diffractometry (XRD), Brunauer Emmet Teller (BET), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization techniques. The XRD and SEM analysis of the green synthesized and non-green synthesized ZnO demonstrated the formation of hexagonal wurtzite crystalline structure and agglomerated morphology. EDX analysis demonstrated the existence of Zn and O as the major constituents of the as-synthesized nanoparticles with traces of carbon which could be attributed to the carbon tape of the sample holder. The BET analysis displayed that the surface area of the ZnO nanoparticles increased from 23.75 to 97.08 cm3/g after the green synthesis. Based on the surface area values, it can be derived that neem leaf extract enhanced the surface area of the green synthesized sample. Green synthesis is a promising route for the synthesis of photocatalyst nanoparticle which is environmentally friendly and sustainable method.