Nanoscale Imaging of Microbial-Mineral Interactions (NIMMI).

The aim of this £446K NERC-funded project is to gain a deeper understanding of key microbial-mineral interactions at the nano-scale using a combination of new state of the art synchrotron imaging techniques, including STXM, alongside microbiological, microscopy, geochemical and modeling approaches. Three complementary and interlinked systems of major environmental importance are the foci of this investigation: (1) The microbial reduction of insoluble Fe(III) oxyhydroxides, which plays a major role in many coupled biogeochemical processes in subsurface environments. (2) The reductive mobilisation of As(V) sorbed onto Fe(III) oxyhydroxides, which threatens the lives of tens of millions worldwide. (3) The bioreduction of U(VI) in Fe(III)-reducing systems, which has considerable relevance to the management of our existing soil contamination and our legacy nuclear waste.

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