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Improved ZnS nanoparticle properties through sequential NanoFermentation...

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Journal Name
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
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Sequential NanoFermentation (SNF) is a novel process which entails sparging microbially produced gas containing H2S from a primary reactor through a concentrated metal-acetate solution contained in a secondary reactor, thereby precipitating metallic sulfide nanoparticles (e.g., ZnS, CuS, or SnS). SNF holds an advantage over single reactor nanoparticle synthesis strategies, because it avoids exposing the microorganisms to high concentrations of toxic metal and sulfide ions. Also, by segregating the nanoparticle products from biological materials, SNF avoids coating nanoparticles with bioproducts that alter their desired properties. Herein, we report the properties of ZnS nanoparticles formed from SNF as compared with ones produced directly in a primary reactor (i.e., conventional NanoFermentation, or “CNF”), commercially available ZnS, and ZnS chemically synthesized by bubbling H2S gas through a Zn-acetate solution. The ZnS nanoparticles produced by SNF provided improved optical properties due to their smaller crystallite size, smaller overall particle sizes, reduced biotic surface coatings, and reduced structural defects. SNF still maintained the advantages of NanoFermentation technology over chemical synthesis including scalability, reproducibility, and lower hazardous waste burden.