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Nizhny Novgorod scientists have obtained a new type of apatite, a substance based on phosphorus and vanadium, capable of retaining lead in its crystal lattice. The compound can serve as a source material for producing ceramic filters for industrial waste treatment.

"Lead is one of the most toxic wastes. In particular, many of its compounds are used in the production of batteries, paints, and building materials. Particles of lead compounds easily migrate through water, soil and air. Filters based on our material will help to keep this dangerous metal from entering the environment," said the author of the study, Associate Professor of the UNN Department of Analytical and Medicinal Chemistry Evgeny Bulanov.

The scientists also noted the low production cost of materials based on phosphorus and vanadium. Besides, by modifying the chemical composition of apatite it will be possible to bind another particularly toxic metal - cadmium. Moreover, one of the main advantages of the technology is the material's resistance to abrupt fluctuations of ambient temperature.

"Filters are placed in the soil in the path of groundwater or are installed on industrial plant discharge drains. Abrupt changes in weather conditions can destroy the filter material and 'release' lead. We managed to obtain apatite capable of withstanding temperature changes," explained Evgeny Bulanov.

The next stage of the research project will be to make test samples of ceramics for filters and study their stability and ability to retain toxic metals.

The substance was first described in a paper published in the Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society in 2023.

The study was carried out by the researchers of the Laboratory of Chemistry of Natural Compounds and Synthetic Analogues, with the participation of the Department of Analytical and Medicinal Chemistry at the UNN Faculty of Chemistry.