Environmental Mineralogy: New challenges, new materials
The close links between mineralogy and materials science are leading to major developments in how society deals more effectively with energy and environmental challenges. The fast expanding field of "environmental mineralogy" helps mitigate major environmental issues related to the impact of anthropic activities on the global ecosystem. Focusing on energy-related materials and environmental cleanup, this article shows how minerals inspire us to design new materials for advanced technologies needed for energy production, managing contaminated areas, and disposing of nuclear waste. We illustrate the environmental importance of nanomaterials, non- and poorly crystalline phases, and the interactions between minerals and ubiquitous microbial activity.