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Economic Impact of Developing Value-Added Products from Sri Lankan Eppawala Rock Phosphate Deposit


Many countries rich in natural resources lack sustainable resource management under economic utilization has become a common global issue. However, obtaining the right compensation for natural resources and long-term benefits from resource-related wealth has become a timely requirement. Therefore, the current paper aims to discuss both the economic importance and impact of value addition to Sri Lankan Eppawala rock phosphate (non-renewable resource) via innovative commercial products with a variety of economic benefits to Sri Lanka.

For that, Eppawala High Grade Rock Phosphate was successfully converted into Eppawala Hydroxyapatite ceramic types with several properties and applications using chemical processes including; solid - state sintering, sol-gel acidified and alcoholic routes, products were analyzed using several characterization techniques to obtain their chemical and physical properties. Next, it was incorporated with Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) and 2- hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) liquid monomers to obtain their composites. Processed composites were analyzed to find out their applicability on biomedical applications, compared and contrasted their properties with currently using commercial bone cement and dental filling material in clinicals. Furthermore, novel product manufacturing costs were compared and contrasted with the raw material costs and commercial product costs to find out Economic impact.

Results show that Synthesized Eppawala Hydroxyapatite product types can be applied directly as bioceramic material due to its similar characteristics to human hard tissues and its manufacturing cost is lower compared to synthetic Hydroxyapatite commercial product in the market. Processed Eppawala Hydroxyapatite composites are also low cost, can be applied to biomedical applications in the fields of orthopedics, dentistry, profitable than manufacturing fertilizers, and can be exported into the global market and local high-cost imports can be reduced. Considering better performance, low cost and eco-friendliness, novel composites can be applied clinically, export to global market and get much better foreign income into the country and by doing, improve living standards in Sri Lankan citizens.

Keywords: Sri Lankan Economy, Rock phosphate, Orthopedics, Dentistry, Biomedical applications