Lanthanide (III) ions are important in several current technological applications, such as in the catalytic and electronics industries. However, these metals have relatively low abundance in Earth's crust. In addition, there is a growing concern about the disposal of these materials into the environment since the environmental impact and toxicity are not yet known in detail. For this reason, the residues of lanthanide ions are usually discarded along with other heavy metals. It is therefore necessary and urgent, both from an environmental and economic point of view, to develop strategies for the recycling and recovery of these metals. In this context, one of the possibilities is to use porous materials, such as MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks), which are multifunctional coordination polymers which already demonstrated potential application in lanthanide (III) ion extraction from aqueous solutions, as well as the extraction of other types of heavy metals. In this perspective, the Zn2+ based MOF, known as ZIF-8, will be obtained with the objective of extracting and separating Eu3 +, Gd3 + and Tb3 + ions from aqueous solutions of residues. Then, the Zr4+ MOF known as MOF-808 functionalized with sodium ethylenediaminetetracetate (EDTA-Na) will be obtained for the extraction of other heavy metal ions from a discard solution. The central objective of the project is to recover lanthanide (III) ions for recycling and to deposit any other traces of heavy metal ions, in order to obtain a less toxic residue and to have a lower environmental impact.
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