- © 2012 by the Mineralogical Society of America
Anthropogenic sources of the toxic metals chromium and uranium have contaminated the ecosystem and become major public and political concerns. Biomineralization, a process by which microorganisms transform aqueous metal ions into amorphous or crystalline precipitates, is regarded as a promising and cost-effective strategy for remediating chromium and uranium contamination. This review describes the potential and limitations of bioremediation for these two toxic metals and highlights the importance of biologically mediated transformation, immobilization, and mineralization of toxic metals during the course of remediation. It also provides nonspecialists with an introduction to several of the main approaches to remediation and acknowledges some questions about this technology that remain to be answered.