Development of antibacterial and UV protective cotton fabrics using plant food waste and alien invasive plant extracts as reducing agents for the in-situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles.
The development of cellulose-based textiles that are functionalised with silver nanoparticles (AgNP), synthesised according to a green approach, and offer protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and pathogenic bacteria is very important today. In the present work we demonstrate the environmentally friendly approach to obtain such textile material by AgNP synthesis directly (in-situ) on cotton fabrics, using water extracts of plant food waste (green tea leaves, avocado seed and pomegranate peel) and alien invasive plants (Japanese knotweed rhizome, goldenrod flowers and staghorn sumac fruit) as reducing agents. The extracts were analysed for their total content of phenols and flavonoids and their antioxidant activity. The synthesised AgNP on cotton were round, of different size and amount depending on the reducing agent used. The highest amount of AgNP was found for samples where Japanese knotweed rhizome extract was used as reducing agent and the lowest where extracts of goldenrod flowers and green tea leaves were used. Regardless of the reducing agent used to form AgNP, all cotton samples showed excellent protection against E. coli and S. aureus bacteria and against UV radiation with UV protection factor values above 50. The best results for UV protection even after the twelve repetitive washing cycles were found for the sample functionalized with AgNP synthesised with an extract of the Japanese knotweed rhizome. Due to the presence of AgNP on cotton, the air permeability and thermal conductivity decreased. AgNP had no effect on the change in breaking strength or elongation of fabrics.