This work describes the formation of Hydroxyaptite, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, from waste mussel shells from the New Zealand aquaculture industry. The raw shells are first calcined to produce lime (CaO) and then reacted in a purpose built reactor to form the Hydroxyapatite (HA) in a low temperature batch process. The calcination was studied in terms of the effects of temperature, heating rate, holding time, nitrogen flow rate and particle size. The crystals formed in the batch reactor were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Optimised conditions in the calcination stage resulted in powder with around 95% conversion to lime. The as-produced HA showed poor crystallinity and the presence of impurities, although both of these features were improved by a suitable post heat treatment process. The post treated material showed good crystallinity and was comparable to commercially produced material. Preliminary biocompatibility experiments showed that the HA stimulated cell growth and promoted mineralization. The production of HA from mussel shells in a room temperature, ambient pressure process is not only a sustainable use of waste material, but also from an industrial point of view the process has considerable potential for reducing costs associated with both starting materials and energy.
|Journal||IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|