12 Baylis Mews, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3HQ, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8891 6600
Fax: +44 (0)20 8891 6599
Email: info@minersoc.org

Registered Charity No. 233706
VAT Reg. No. GB 238 7676 17

Photo Gallery

Click on a photo to enlarge and for more information.

Campylite from Dry Gill
Images by David Green
Illite, laths
'Images of Clay'

EMU Notes in Mineralogy - volume 17

Redox-reactive Minerals: Properties, Reactions and Applications in Clean Technologies

(I.A.M. Ahmed and K.A. Hudson-Edwards, editors)


Chapter 8. Bioconversion of Fe(III) oxides into magnetic nanoparticles: Processes and applications
V.S. Coker, M. Watts and J.R. Lloyd

The formation of magnetic nanomaterials by biogenic processes is an untapped green chemistry approach to nanomaterial production. This chapter focuses on magnetitebased nanomaterials made through extracellular processes by dissimilatory Fe(III)- reducing and Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria as these microbes have particular importance in global Fe cycling. Biogenic nano-magnetite is typically between 5 and 50 nm in size and as such exhibits different mechanical, electrical, magnetic and chemical behaviours compared to larger-scale equivalent material. Therefore, an environmentally benign process for the production of these materials, as offered by bacteria, is highly desirable. The formation of biogenic nano-magnetite is discussed, primarily focusing on Fe(III)-reducing bacteria as these are the most widely researched. The methods that can be used to tailor the magnetic nanoparticles to give enhanced reactivity involve using different mineral precursor phases, different ratios of biomass: precursor mineral and also the addition of differentmetals either within the magnetite structure or by arraying metals on the surface of the magnetite nanoparticles. The applications of these tailored magnetite nanoparticles are wide ranging and covered within this review are a variety of redoxsensitive organic and inorganic contaminants that can be stabilized through a reductive transformation or degraded by biogenic magnetite. There are also biomedical applications for biogenic nano-magnetite. Nano-sized magnetite particles are produced by a wide range of Bacteria and Archaea and have potential uses in environmental remediation strategies and the challenges of process scale-up and the utilization of waste materials in the production of these nanomaterials are the next steps to harnessing this green technology.

Go to the table of contents for this book

Go to the Mineralogical Society's online shop to buy a copy of the book from which this chapter is taken.