Environmental Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The inherent properties of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) offer enormous benefits to many technologies which are focused on improving the quality of the environment in which we live. As reflected in this chapter, the majority of research to date incorporating MNPs for environmental applications has been in the treatment of water, whether in the remediation of groundwater or through the magnetic separation and/or sensing of contaminants present in various aqueous systems. MNPs couple the modified behaviour uniquely associated with the nanoscale, for example enhanced reactivities arising from enormous surface-to-volume ratios, with inherent magnetic phenomena such as superparamagnetism. As such, they offer precise selectivity and ultrahigh sensitivity in the detection, remediation and removal of micropollutants whilst functionalization further enables targeting of specific chemical and biological contaminants. This chapter aims to show how this powerful combination can greatly benefit a number of environmental applications including groundwater remediation, wastewater treatment and environmental sensing, amongst others. After an introduction and overview of the properties relevant to these environmental settings, the methods used to produce and functionalize MNPs are discussed. Various applications of MNPs are then considered, taking into account detrimental factors such as aggregation, deactivation and contaminant rerelease, before the chapter ends with a summary and discussion of future prospects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers of Nanoscience
Subtitle of host publicationNanomagnetism: Fundamentals and Applications
EditorsChris Binns
Number of pages49
ISBN (Electronic)9780080983554
ISBN (Print) 9780080983530
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2014


  • Environmental applications
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Magnetic separation
  • Environmental sensing

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