Sustainable Finished Leather Preservation Part I - Myrobalan Capped Copper Nanoparticles

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Ruby Shekinah
Saranya Kailasam
Sujata Mandal
Swarna V. Kanth


Copper nanoparticles were synthesized using myrobalan (tannin) extract as a reducing agent. The synthesized nanoparticles were used in the coating of leather after the finishing process of upper leather to enhance the antimicrobial properties of leather. Primarily, the synthesized myrobalan copper nanoparticles (M-CuNPs) were characterized using UV-Spectroscopy (UV), which resulted in an absorption peak at 412 nm, confirming the presence of CuNPs in the solution. The size distribution and zeta potential values of M-CuNPs were analyzed by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) which resulted in an average particle size of 104 nm and zeta potential value of -28mv. These values affirm the stability of the M-CuNPs. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image showed that the particles are spherical in shape. The elemental composition of M-CuNPs was confirmed using Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) studies. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra showed peaks at 3173 cm-1, 1727 cm-1, 1147 cm-1, and 624 cm-1, which correspond to -OH, C=O, C-O, and C-H respectively confirming functional groups involved in the synthesis and capping process. The antibacterial activity of the M-CuNPs coated finished leather was evaluated against Grampositive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Serratia marcescens) bacteria, which are common pathogenic species that effect the preservation capabilities of the leather. The M-CuNPs coated finished leather exhibits strong antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Serratia marcescens) bacteria. Hence from the above study, M-CuNPs can be used as a sustainable antibacterial agent for preserving leather and its products.

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