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Geology Department Postgraduate Web Pages

Name: Adrienn Maria Szucs

Adrienn Maria Szucs

Contact Details

Phone: +353 834081409

Twitter: @adriennszucs

Title of Project

Design of synthetic rare earth minerals for chemical filters

Postgraduate research summary

Some rare earth minerals have gained broad interest in the last decade because of their layered structure which may have the potential to trap pollutants from solution and could be used as chemical filters. Still, this possibility has never been experimentally tested. Although not common in nature, some of them can be very easily synthesized in the laboratory.

This research aims to evaluate the feasibility of synthetic rare earth layered minerals as chemical filters to remove pollutants from water for industrial use. The project aims to (1) identify required conditions at which these minerals can remove specific (in)organic pollutants from water, and to (2) determine the mechanism of the decontamination process. Also, the study seeks to (3) quantify the efficiency and reproducibility of the pollutant removing mechanism and the course of the reaction over time. In addition, this research will help us to (4) gain a better understanding of the nature of the crystallization mechanisms and stability of rare-earth carbonates.

Name of supervisors

Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco

Postgraduate personal details

I am a PhD student with a background in Environmental Sciences and Agricultural Engineering. My research investigates the behaviour of carbonate minerals which helps to find and develop alternative green water filters in the future. I am also interested in studying the chemical characteristics of ancient stromatolites to peer into the paleoenvironment and their mysterious evolution.

In 2018, I finished my undergraduate studies in Agricultural Engineering in Environmental Management, at Szent Istvan University in Hungary. My bachelor thesis focused on the environmental impact of airborne wind energy technology, which I had the luck to study at the Delft University of Technology during a four months internship.

2018-2019, I completed my master studies in Environmental Sciences at Trinity College Dublin; my thesis focused on the geochemical characterisation of stromatolite fossils from the Neoproterozoic.

Project Start Date

September 2019


Provost PhD Award

Publications - Inc. abstracts to conferences

Szucs AM, O'Donnell C, Davis S, Stavropoulou A & Rodriguez-Blanco JD, (2021). 'Reaction Pathways toward the Formation of Bastnäsite: Replacement of Calcite by Rare Earth Carbonates.' Crystal Growth & Design, 21(1), 512-527.

Szucs AM, O'Donnell C, Davis S, Stavropoulou A & Rodriguez-Blanco JD – Interaction of Calcite with Rare Earth Hydrothermal Fluids. Goldschmidt 2020, Conference Abstract,