Valorization of an Agricultural Waste-Corncob: Investigation of Potassium Oxide from Corncob Ash Crystals as an Antiseptic and Disinfectant Agent


  • Henrietta Ijeoma Kelle National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Musa Runde National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria


Corncob ash crystals, Benzalkonium chloride, Hand sanitizer, Ligand, Molecular docking, Protein binding site


Communication in Physical Sciences, 2024, 11(2): 188-206

Authors: Henrietta Ijeoma Kelle and Musa Runde*

Received: 18 October 2023/Accepted: 18 April 2024

Antiseptics play a crucial role in upholding hygiene standards and curbing the transmission of diseases. Corn cob ash has been utilized to uphold cleanliness and ensure hygiene, particularly in low-income communities. The combustion of corn cob biomass yielded corn cob ash crystals, whose composition was analyzed using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Predominantly, potassium oxide constitutes 80.69% of these crystals. This research investigates the antibacterial and disinfectant properties of potassium oxide crystals derived from corn cob ash. Their effectiveness against various microorganisms was compared with benzalkonium chloride and ampicillin, the industry standards. Using density functional theory and molecular docking, the reactivity and interaction of the compound with specific bacteria and SARS-CoV-2 proteins were explored. Geometric analysis employing DFT revealed significant alterations in bond lengths and angles of the potassium oxide molecule due to solvent presence. Notably, a promising interaction between the substance and the SARS-CoV-2 protein suggests its potential application in developing antiseptics and hand  sanitizers.


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Author Biographies

Henrietta Ijeoma Kelle , National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Department of Chemistry

Musa Runde, National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Department of Chemistry


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