|Abstract: ||Niobate-based octahedral molecular sieves having significant activity for multivalent cations and a method for synthesizing such sieves are disclosed. The sieves have a net negatively charged octahedral framework, comprising niobium, oxygen, and octahedrally coordinated lower valence transition metals. The framework can be charge balanced by the occluded alkali cation from the synthesis method. The alkali cation can be exchanged for other contaminant metal ions. The ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be backexchanged in acidic solutions to yield a solution concentrated in the contaminant metal. Alternatively, the ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be thermally converted to a durable perovskite phase waste form.