||Pure ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized by a sustainable precipitation method using zinc nitrate and sodium hydroxide in aqueous medium at room temperature. They were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDX), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis) spectroscopy and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. The XRD patterns indicate the formation of the hexagonal wurtzite phase with high purity and SEMEDS analysis confirm the purity and a homogenous distribution of the nanostructures. The ZnO nanostructures present plate-like agglomerates, resulting in a quasi-spherical morphology. The catalytic activity of the formed ZnO nanoparticles was evaluated towards the transesterification reaction of different carboxylic esters in the presence of various alcohols. This catalyst is highly selective for the transesterification of alpha-keto carboxylic ester (methyl benzoylformate) and leads to ca. 97\% of product yield within 24 h of reaction time.