Silica-ruthenium-tryptophan catalyst was synthesised from rice husk via a simple solvent extraction and sol-gel technique at room temperature. The catalyst was labelled as RH-Ru-T and characterised by various physico-chemical methods. RH-Ru-T had a high specific surface area at 399 m2 g–1 and a bimodal pore size distribution between 30–50 Å. The catalyst was found to be amorphous. Transmission electron microscopy image revealed the formation of wormlike structure. The use of RH-Ru-T as catalyst in the benzylation of toluene resulted in a conversion of 99.9% and 86% selectivity for the mono-substituted (ortho- & para-) products within a short reaction time.