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In biogeochemistry, remineralisation refers to the transformation of organic molecules to inorganic forms, typically mediated by biological activity.

Usually remineralisation relates to organic and inorganic molecules involving biologically important elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. For example, the following simplified equation shows the complete remineralisation of organic material with a standard Redfield ratio to oxidised inorganic minerals such as carbon dioxide, nitrate (nitric acid) and phosphate (phosphoric acid).

(C106H124O36) (NH3)16 (H3PO4) + 150 O2 <math>\rightarrow</math> 106 CO2 + 16 HNO3 + H3PO4 + 78 H2O + energy

In reality, such complete remineralisation is likely to involve several stages each involving different organisms and metabolic pathways. For example, in the case of nitrogen, its transformation from ammonia (NH3) in the equation above, to nitrate involves the process of nitrification, usually mediated by a series of bacteria.

Remineralisation of teeth

The remineralization of teeth is a process in which minerals are returned to the molecular structure of the tooth itself, and can reverse bacterial infestation of the enamel of a tooth. This process cannot replace lost tooth material (that is, it won't fill a cavity that has developed into a hole). The human body naturally remineralizes teeth through the use of carbonic acid[1]. There are several products, including Biotene Rinse, that can halt tooth decay [2].

See also

Remineralisation of soil

Remineralisation of teeth


  1. 12 December 2007 Demineralization
  2. 12 December 2007 Remineralization of Cavities