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Journal of Applied Chemistry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 171427, 12 pages
Research Article

Industrial Waste-Derived Nanoparticles and Microspheres Can Be Potent Antimicrobial and Functional Ingredients

1Department of Food Engineering and Technology, School of Engineering, Tezpur University, Assam 784028, India
2Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, School of Science, Tezpur University, Assam 784028, India

Received 30 May 2014; Accepted 17 July 2014; Published 17 September 2014

Academic Editor: Guang-Fu Yang

Copyright © 2014 Manashi Das Purkayastha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rapeseed oilcake or press-cake is generated as bulk waste during oil extraction from oilseeds. Owing to its high protein content, further processing of oilcakes into vegetable protein generates large quantities of fibrous residue (“oil-and-protein” spent meal) as by-product, which currently has very limited practical utility. Here, we report hydrothermal carbonization of this industrial waste to convert it into carbon nanoparticles, bestowed with multitude of functionalities. We demonstrate that these nanoparticles can be assembled into micrometer-sized spheres when precipitated from water by acetone. These microspheres, with their added feature of hemocompatibility, can be potentially utilized as an encapsulation vehicle for the protection of thermolabile compounds (such as protein); however, the secondary and tertiary features of the protein were marginally perturbed by the encapsulation process. The synthesized carbon nanoparticle was found to be an effective biocidal agent, exhibiting bacterial cellular damage and complex formation with the bacterial plasmid (evident from ethidium bromide exclusion assay), which are critical for cell survival. The results show the ability to convert industrial biowaste into useful nanomaterials for use in food industries and also suggest new scalable and simple approaches to improve environmental sustainability in industrial processes.