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Water Hyacinth Helps Detect Herbicide Pollution

  • 24 Dec 2019
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Researchers have used invasive plant water hyacinth to produce carbon nanoparticles which can be used for detecting a commonly used herbicide — pretilachlor.

  • The nanoparticles were found to be selective and sensitive for the detection of the herbicide.

Key Points

  • Carbon Dots:
    • The water hyacinth without chlorophyll is powdered and heated at 150-degree Celsius to convert it to carbon dots.
    • When a nanoparticle is less than 10 nanometre it is known as a dot or nanodot.
  • Working Principle:
    • The carbon dots gives a green fluorescence under UltraViolet (UV) light, due to the presence of oxygen functional groups on the surface of the dot.
    • The fluorescence intensity of carbon dot increases in the presence of the herbicide.
      • The electron transfer between the dot and the herbicide enables the fluorescence enhancement.
      • The carbon dot is extremely sensitive to pretilachlor and could detect even very small quantity of it.
  • Advantages:
    • The detection of herbicides through carbon dots is a commercially viable option compared to the currently available sensors in the market as the raw material i.e. water hyacinth is readily available.
    • It will help to convert waste material like the water hyacinth to produce useful technology.

Water Hyacinth

  • Water hyacinth is a free-floating aquatic plant native to South America. It is considered as an invasive alien species.
  • Single plant of water Hyacinth is capable of duplicating itself every nine days.
  • It is also referred to as the terror of Bengal given its effect on the local ecology and lives of the people.
  • It has an effect on irrigation, hydroelectric generation and navigation.
  • It also leads to a drastic reduction in fish production, aquatic crops and an increase in diseases caused by mosquitoes.

Source: TH

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