Layered A2Sn3S7·1.25H2O (A = Organic Cation) as Efficient Ion-Exchanger for Rare Earth Element Recovery

Xing Hui Qi, Ke Zhao Du, Mei Ling Feng*, Yu Jie Gao, Xiao Ying Huang, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Exploring new ion-exchangers for the recovery of rare earth elements (REEs) and recycling is worthwhile for the high-tech industry and an eco-friendly sustainable economy. The efficient enrichment of low concentration REE from complex aqueous solutions containing large excess of competitive ions is challenging. Here we present a chalcogenide example as a superior REE ion-exchanger efficiently removing them from very complex aqueous solutions, (Me2NH2)1.33(Me3NH)0.67 Sn3S7·1.25H2O (FJSM-SnS). The material exhibits fast and efficient ion exchange behavior with short equilibrium time (<5 min), high adsorption capacity (139 mg/g for Eu, 147 mg/g for Tb, 126 mg/g for Nd), wide pH resistance (1.9-8.5), the largest distribution coefficient (Kd) value of 6.5 × 106 mL/g, good selectivity against Al3+, Fe3+, and Na+ ions, and high recovery rate (>99%) at low concentrations. Moreover, after ion-exchange, the REE in corresponding exchanged products could be easily recovered by elution. FJSM-SnS has superior capacity and faster absorption kinetics than other states of the artificial REE sorbents such as Al2O3/EG, clay minerals, zeolite, and activated carbon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4314-4317
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 29 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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