Researchers from the University of Madras have found a way to use sugarcane waste as carbon quantum dots.
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Carbon quantum dots are used as biosensors. Once it is injected into a body part, it generates a clear image by illuminating it – thanks to its fluorescent properties. When made with sugarcane bagasse it was found to be as effective and toxic-free.
The process involves chopping up sugarcane bagasse and drying it, which is then burnt to produce sugarcane carbons. Organic solvents are extracted to perform sonication. Following centrifugation, carbon quantum dots are produced.
These quantum dots act as ‘flashlights’ for surgeons and are non-toxic. This method is not just a breakthrough in the medical field, it can benefit farmers as well by allowing them to gain additional income by selling the renewable waste of bagasse. This, by extension, puts an end to agro-waste burning, thus shining a light on sustainable innovation.