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Sugarcane is an economic crop of Thailand to produce sugar. The process generates waste in the field more than 10 tons a year. The leaf waste is usually burned and causes many air pollution problems to the environment. Finding ways to utilize the waste will add values and reduce health problems. The aims of this research were to investigate distribution of biosilica on leaves of four most common sugarcane cultivars in Thailand (including KK3, LK92-11, KPS01-12 and UT84-12) and determine biosilica contents in the leaves. Sugarcane leaf surfaces were examined with field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). The Si contents were determined with energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (EDXRF). SEM images showed that the distribution of Si on the adaxial was higher than on the abaxial of sugarcane leaf surface. The EDS maps showed that the UT84-12 had the highest Si of 19.77wt% on abaxial leaf surface and the EDXRF results showed that the UT84-12 contained the highest Si of 6.34wt%. In principle, EDXRF is a bulk analysis with large volume of interaction. Therefore, it is more accurate than EDS&FE-SEM. The results also showed that the apical part of the leaves had higher Si content than in the middle and the basal part. This study demonstrated a potential to add value to agricultural waste sugarcane leaves by transforming it biosilica, which can be used for other functions such as composite materials for rubber products, paints, fertilizers and cosmetics in the future.
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