Hydroxyapatites were analysed using electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. Examination of a bacterially produced hydroxyapatite (Bio-HA) by scanning electron microscopy showed agglomerated nano-sized particles; XRD analysis confirmed that the Bio-HA was hydroxyapatite, with an organic matter content of 7.6%; XRF analysis gave a Ca/P ratio of 1.55, also indicative of HA. The size of the Bio-HA crystals was calculated as ~25 nm from XRD data using the Scherrer equation, whereas Comm-HA powder size was measured as ≤50 μm. The nano-crystalline Bio-HA was ~7 times more efficient in removing Sr 2+ from synthetic groundwater than Comm-HA. Dissolution of HA as indicated by the release of phosphate into the solution phase was higher in the Comm-HA than the Bio-HA, indicating a more stable biomaterial which has a potential for the remediation of contaminated sites.
- strontium removal
- aqueous solutions
- nano-crystalline hydroxyapatite