skip to main content


Title: Topological analysis of void space in phosphate frameworks: Assessing storage properties for the environmentally important guest molecules and ions: CO 2, H 2O, UO 2, PuO 2, U, Pu, Sr 2+, Cs +, CH 4, and H 2

The entrapment of environmentally important materials to enable containment of polluting wastes from industry or energy production, storage of alternative fuels, or water sanitation, is of vital and immediate importance. Many of these materials are small molecules or ions that can be encapsulated via their adsorption into framework structures to create a host-guest complex. This is an ever-growing field of study and, as such, the search for more suitable porous materials for environmental applications is fundamental to progress. However, many industrial areas that require the use of adsorbents are fraught with practical challenges such as high temperatures, rapid gas expansion, radioactivity, or repetitive gas cycling, that the host material must withstand. Inorganic phosphates have a proven history of rigid structures, thermal stability, and are suspected to possess good resistance to radiation over geologic time scales. Furthermore, various experimental studies have established their ability to adsorb small molecules, such as water. In light of this, all known crystal structures of phosphate frameworks with meta- (P 3O 9) or ultra- (P 5O 14) stoichiometries are combined in a data-mining survey together with all theoretically possible structures of Ln aP bO c (where a, b, c are any integer, and Ln = La,more » Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, or Tm) that are statistically likely to form. Topological patterns within these framework structures are used to assess their suitability for hosting a variety of small guest molecules or ions that are important for environmental applications: CO 2, H 2O, UO 2, PuO 2, U, Pu, Sr 2+, Cs +, CH 4 and H 2. A range of viable phosphate-based host-guest complexes are identified from this data-mining and pattern-based structural analysis. Moreover, distinct topological preferences for hosting such guests are found, and metaphosphate stoichiometries are generally preferred over ultraphosphate configurations.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  2. Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom); STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab., Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2168-0485
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CO2 emissions; energy fuel storage; host-guest structure; nuclear waste storage; phosphate; water sanitation
OSTI Identifier: