Synthesis and Structural Characterisation of Yttrium-Doped α-Zirconium Phosphate

Suri, Gurpreet Singh (2021) Synthesis and Structural Characterisation of Yttrium-Doped α-Zirconium Phosphate. ChemEngineering, 5 (4). e83.

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There has been a considerable amount of interest in the ion-exchange properties of layered zirconium phosphates. Potential applications in the remediation of nuclear waste have renewed interest in these inorganic materials, due to their high stability under the acidic conditions typically found in legacy waste pools. It has been well documented that the substitution of metals with different ionic radii into the frameworks of inorganic materials can alter the chemical properties including ion-exchange selectivity. The work presented here focusses on the synthesis and characterisation of yttrium-doped α-zirconium phosphates which are reported for the first time. Two different synthetic methods were used, reflux and hydrothermal syntheses, and the products were characterised by various methods such as powdered X-ray diffraction, MAS-NMR and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that up to 15% of zirconium could be replaced by yttrium before any noticeable impurity phases could be observed. Rietveld refinement from the doping showed that the products did not obey the Vegard’s law. However, the ion-exchange results clearly showed enhanced capacities and selectivity towards Co2+ ions for the substituted materials.

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