A review of geochemical factors governing the phase transformation of birnessite

Seonyi Namgung, Chul Min Chon, Giehyeon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Birnessite is one of the dominant Mn (oxyhydr)oxide phases commonly found in soil and deep ocean environments. It typically occurs as nano-sized and poorly crystalline aggregates in the natural environment. It is well known that birnessite participates in a wide variety of bio/geochemical reactions as a reactive mineral phase with structural defects, cation vacancies, and mixed valences of structural Mn. These various bio/geochemical reactions control not only the fate and transport of inorganic and organic substances in the environment, but also the formation of diverse Mn (oxyhydr)oxides through birnessite transformation. This review assessed and discussed about the phase transformation of birnessite under a wide range of environmental conditions and about the potential geochemical factors controlling the corresponding reactions in the literature. Birnessite transformation to other types of Mn (oxyhydr)oxides were affected by dissolved Mn(II), dissolved oxygen, solution pH, and co-existing cation (i.e., Mg2+). However, there still have been many issues to be unraveled on the complex bio/geochemical processes involved in the phase transformation of birnessite. Future work on the detail mechanisms of birnessite transformation should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalEconomic and Environmental Geology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Society of Economic and Environmental Geology. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology


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