The peer-reviewed article "Titanium alkylphosphate functionalised mesoporous silica for enhanced uptake of rare-earth ions" published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A and co-authored by the group member Wenzhong Zhang (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Dzenita Avdibegovic (KU Leuven, Belgium) has been selected to themed collection: 2017 Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers.

Wenzhong Zhang, a group member of Ion Exchange for nuc­lear waste treat­ment and for re­cyc­ling group (University of Helsinki) and Koen Binnemans from KU Leuven, Belgium have co-authored an article about novel material considering the separation of rare-earth elements. The article was selected to themed collection 2017 Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers. The work was done as a collaboration between our group and Prof. Koen Binnemans’ group at KU Leuven (Belgium) under the umbrella of EU H2020 MSCA ETN REDMUD project. In their work, short n-alkyl chains were covalently attached to titanium(IV) phosphate functionalised mesoporous MCM-41 silica. A high separation between scandium and lanthanum was achieved and the hybrid material showed similar performance on seperation between dysprosium and neodymium as typical tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP) based solvent extraction setups. The study provides a new insight to produce inorganic–organic hybrid sorbents based on the structure of organophosphorus extractants via metal(IV)–O–P bonds.

The article can be found on the publisher's website:!divAbs...

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