The natural environment is rich in nanoparticulate mineral phases, such as iron and manganese oxides and oxyhydroxides, with unique chemical properties. Some of these minerals, for example Green Rusts, have the potential to be developed into a new generation of environmental remediation materials which could be utilized to clean up contaminated land. Advances in X-ray technologies at third-generation synchrotron sources (e.g. the Diamond Light Source) have helped to characterise the formation and crystallisation of highly reactive nanoparticles under simulated environmental conditions. In this article, Dr. Imad Ahmed, Dr. Sam Shaw, Ms. Gabriella Kakonyi and Prof. Liane G. Benning, describe how stateof- the-art in situ time-resolved synchrotron-based scattering and diffraction methods are used to determine the mechanisms and kinetics of green rust nanoparticle formation and growth.