A novel metal-organic framework (MOF) templated process for the synthesis of highly porous inorganic sorbents for removing radionuclides, actinides, and heavy metals is disclosed. The highly porous nature of the MOFs leads to highly porous inorganic sorbents (such as oxides, phosphates, sulfides, etc) with accessible surface binding sites that are suitable for removing radionuclides from high level nuclear wastes, extracting uranium from acid mine drainage and seawater, and sequestering heavy metals from waste streams. In some cases, MOFs can be directly used for removing these metal ions as MOFs are converted to highly porous inorganic sorbents in situ.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC09-085R22470 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.