The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service announced on April 9, 2024, that ARS researchers published a study revealing the ability of cotton gin waste to synthesize and generate silver nanoparticles in the presence of silver ions. ARS states that cotton gin waste, also known as cotton gin trash, “is a byproduct of the cotton ginning process and occurs when the cotton fibers are separated from the seed boll.” Using a simple heat treatment of cotton gin waste materials in water containing silver ions, the researchers produced silver nanoparticles without needing additional chemical agents. ARS notes that “[t]his finding is significant since making silver nanoparticles usually requires chemical agents which can be costly and pose environmental concerns. Embedding nanoparticles into a material can also be challenging.” According to ARS, a provisional patent application on the self-embedding silver nanoparticle biomass waste compositions has been filed.



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