Metal oxyhydroxide nanoparticles form in many natural (e.g. rivers) and contaminated land environments. These mineral particles are an important part of the global iron cycle and, due to their high surface reactivity, adsorb large amounts of dissolved species onto their surfaces and into their structures during formation. These processes significantly influence the distribution, speciation and bioavailability of trace elements in many natural systems. This is particularly relevant in contaminated mine environments where iron oxyhydroxide nanoparticles can adsorb and transport large amount of toxic elements, including arsenic.
|A Cornish river contaminated with iron oxyhydroxide mineral particles|
Source: Dr Sam Shaw, University of Leeds
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