Engineered nanoparticles offer the potential for remediation of land and water that has been contaminated by organics and metals. Microbially synthesized nano-scale magnetite, prepared from Fe(III) oxides by subsurface Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, offers a scalable biosynthesis route to such a nano-scale remediation reagent. To underpin delivery of "bionanomagnetite" (BNM) nanomaterial during in situ treatment options, we conducted a range of batch and column experiments to assess and optimise the transport and reactivity of the particles in porous media. Collectively these experiments, which include state of the art gamma imaging of the transport of99mTc-labelled BNM in columns, showed that non-toxic, low cost coatings such as guar gum and salts of humic acid can be used to enhance the mobility of the nanomaterial, while maintaining reactivity against target contaminants. Furthermore, BNM reactivity can be enhanced by the addition of surface coatings of nano-Pd, extending the operational lifetime of the BNM, in the presence of a simple electron donor such as hydrogen or formate.
- Journal article
- Pollution remediation