In the UK, water utilities add phosphate to drinking water in order to prevent lead being released from older properties that are supplied by lead water pipes. The mechanism of reduction is thought to involve the formation of insoluble lead phosphates. This research was carried out to optimise the growth of large lead apatite crystals for use in future atomic force microscopy work. In this case study, pyromorphite crystals exhibiting both prismatic hexagonal and needle-like structures with sizes up to 0.2mm were successfully grown using a caesium chloride flux. They were produced both at lower temperatures and in less time than previous studies. All samples were characterised using a variety of analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction, infrared spectrometry, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis.
Pyromorphite; apatite; lead; crystal growth; phosphates; water treatment
How to CiteLo L. (2017) “Method development for the synthesis of large crystals of pyromorphite”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research. 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/fields.2017.08