Dec 012010

In a new non-toxic process, cinnamon has been used to render nanoparticles from gold salts (Photo: Sam Mugraby,

Gold nanoparticles, while showing great promise in fields such as electronics,medical imaging and cancer treatment, nonetheless involve a fairly environmentally-unfriendly production process.

Typically, they are produced via liquid chemical methods that involve the use of various noxious substances, such as chlorauric acid. As the field of nanotechnology grows, so do concerns over the consequences for the Earth. University of Missouri scientist Kattesh Katti has found a new method for producing gold nanoparticles that does away with almost all of the toxic agents… and replaces them with cinnamon.

In the U Missouri method, nanoparticles were created by combining gold salts and cinnamon, and stirring them together in water. “Cinnamon has phytochemicals; these phytochemicals are effective in performing chemical reactions (referred to as chemical reduction) with gold salts,” Katti explained to Gizmag. “We have discovered that phytochemicals in cinnamon upon chemical reactions with gold salts result in the conversion of gold salt into gold nanoparticles.”

No electricity or toxic agents were required. As a side benefit, the phytochemicals can also be used to destroy or image cancer cells.

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