Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Synthesis of Agglomerated Spherical Zirconium Phosphate for Removal of Cs+ and Sr2+ Ions from Aqueous System

  • Arshid Bashir
  • Lateef Ahmad Malik
  • G. N. Dar
  • Altaf Hussain PandithEmail author


Crystalline and agglomerated spherical alpha zirconium phosphate nanoparticles hereafter α-ZrP were synthesized by a facile and rapid microwave-hydrothermal (MW-HT) approach within 30 min at 120 °C in the absence of any complexing or structure directing agent (SDA). The material was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), powdered X-ray diffraction (PXRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopic analysis (EDS) and surface area analysis (BET). It crystallizes in the monoclinic P121/n1 space group with the following cell parameters: a = 5.288, b = 9.174, c = 15.384 Å and β = 102.384. Crystallite sizes in the range 3–4 nm evaluated using Scherer equation were obtained for α-ZrP. Ion exchange performance of α-ZrP towards removal of Cs+ and Sr2+ ions was examined under noncompetitive batch conditions. Distribution studies indicate higher selectivity of α-ZrP towards Sr2+ uptake (Kd ca. 4.3 × 104) in comparison with Cs+ (Kd ca. 2.4 × 103). This study suggested to agglomerated α-ZrP as potential adsorbent for the removal of radioactive Sr2+ from acidic wastewater.

List of abbreviations


Atomic absorption spectroscopy


Surface area analysis




Density functional theory


Energy dispersive spectroscopic analysis


Fourier transform infrared


Ion exchange capacity


Distribution coefficient


Microwave hydrothermal


Powdered X-ray diffraction


Point of zero charge


Structure directing agents


Scanning electron microscopy


Zirconium Phosphate



We thank the Head Department of Chemistry, the University of Kashmir for providing all the necessary facilities to carry out this work. We would also like to thank Mainak Roy and S. N. Achary, Chemistry Division, BARC, Mumbai for their help with PXRD and FT-IR studies. A. B. would like to thank the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), GOI, for financial assistance in the form of a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). G. N. thanks the DST, GOI, for a research grant for carrying out this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arshid Bashir
    • 1
  • Lateef Ahmad Malik
    • 1
  • G. N. Dar
    • 2
  • Altaf Hussain Pandith
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of KashmirHazratbal, SrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of KashmirHazratbal, SrinagarIndia

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