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Lanthanum Chloride (LaCl3) is a safe and effective chemical for the treatment of water that contains high levels of phosphate. It rapidly precipitates out phosphate to form an insoluble mineral Rhabdophane that can be filtered out of the water. This reduces algae growth and phosphate accumulation in lakes, residential waters and aquatic habitats and also helps to protect water quality in areas where there are large fish populations and other organisms that need high levels of phosphorus to grow.
We have demonstrated that the phosphate analogue of lanthanum has very remarkable intrinsic hydrophobic properties without any chemical modification. Transparent nanocoatings and mixtures of LaPO4 with other REPs on glass surfaces show remarkable surface hydrophobicity at ambient and subzero temperatures with water contact angles (WCA) of 120deg. Sintered and polished monoliths of LaPO4 also exhibit impressive hydrophobicity at these extreme temperatures.
These unique properties can be applied to a variety of applications. We are currently investigating the use of LaPO4 for coatings on a variety of substrates for the purpose of providing enhanced anti-icing and anti-corrosion properties. We are also exploring the use of machinable LaPO4 based composites for orthopedic applications such as bone and dental implants.
In addition to the anti-corrosion and anti-icing applications we have used this material in our work on a number of other exciting projects including the characterization of rare earth element complexes by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry after internal standardization-assisted rapid coprecipitation, the suppression of probe background signals by B(1) field inhomogeneity in lanthanum-doped phosphate crystals, the fabrication of fluorescent rare earth phosphate colloidal nanoparticles for the detection of DNA damage, the development of a new method for the quantitative measurement of cadmium in river water using electrothermal atomic spectrometry, the preparation of dinuclear neodymium and lanthanum bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl) phosphate complexes for thymine kinase assays and the development of machinable LaPO4-montmorillonite composites for osteoblast adhesion.