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Extracellular Synthesis of Magnetite and Metal-Substituted Magnetite Nanoparticles

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We have developed a novel microbial process that exploits the ability of Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms to produce copious amounts of extracellular magentites and metal-substituted magnetite nanoparticles. The Fe(III)-reducing bacteria (Theroanaerobacter ethanolicus and Shewanella sp.) have the ability to reduce Fe(III) and various metals in aqueous media and form various sized magnetite and metal-substituted magnetite nano-crystals. The Fe(III)-reducing bacteria formed metal-substituted magnetites using iron oxide plus metals (e.g., Co, Cr, Mn, Ni) under conditions of relatively low temperature (<70 °C), ambient pressure, and pH values near neutral to slightly basic (pH = 6.5 to 9). Precise biological control over activation and regulation of the biosolid-state processes can produce magnetite particles of well-defined size (typically tens of nanometers) and crystallographic morphology, containing selected dopant metals into the magnetite (Fe3−y X y O4) structure (where X = Co, Cr, Mn, Ni). Magnetite yields of up to 20 g/L per day have been observed in 20-L vessels. Water-based ferrofluids were formed with the nanometer sized, magnetite, and metal-substituted biomagnetite particles.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-11-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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