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The impact of iron nanoparticles on technetium-contaminated groundwater and sediment microbial communities

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.10.008 DOI Help

Authors: Laura Newsome (University of Manchester) , Katherine Morris (University of Manchester) , Adrian Cleary (University of Manchester) , Nicholas Karl Masters-waage (University of Manchester) , Christopher Boothman (University of Manchester) , Nimisha Joshi (University of Manchester) , Nick Atherton (University of Manchester) , Jonathan R. Lloyd (University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Hazardous Materials

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 13559

Abstract: Iron nanoparticles are a promising new technology to treat contaminated groundwater, particularly as they can be engineered to optimise their transport properties. Technetium is a common contaminant at nuclear sites and can be reductively scavenged from groundwater by iron(II). Here we investigated the potential for a range of optimised iron nanoparticles to remove technetium from contaminated groundwater, and groundwater/sediment systems. Nano zero-valent iron and Carbo-iron stimulated the development of anoxic conditions while generating Fe(II) which reduced soluble Tc(VII) to sparingly soluble Tc(IV). Similar results were observed for Fe(II)-bearing biomagnetite, albeit at a slower rate. Tc(VII) remained in solution in the presence of the Fe(III) mineral nano-goethite, until acetate was added to stimulate microbial Fe(III)-reduction after which Tc(VII) concentrations decreased concomitant with Fe(II) ingrowth. The addition of iron nanoparticles to sediment microcosms caused an increase in the relative abundance of Firmicutes, consistent with fermentative/anoxic metabolisms. Residual bacteria from the synthesis of the biomagnetite nanoparticles were out-competed by the sediment microbial community. Overall the results showed that iron nanoparticles were highly effective in removing Tc(VII) from groundwater in sediment systems, and generated sustained anoxic conditions via the stimulation of beneficial microbial processes including Fe(III)-reduction and sulfate reduction.

Journal Keywords: Bioremediation; Nuclear; Nanotechnology; Biogeochemistry; Microbial community

Subject Areas: Environment, Chemistry


Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS