What is it about?

Super water absorbents (SWA) can help conserve and manage freshwater resources by reducing irrigation frequency in agricultural lands. In this particular study, we systematically optimized the formulation of SWA using factorial experimental design and soil water retention experiments. The optimized SWA formulation has an ideal and promising property compared to its commercial counterpart.

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Why is it important?

Our study showed that the degree of neutralization is a major factor that affects both the gel properties and soil water retention property of the radiation-synthesized SWAs. Based on the gel properties and soil water retention efficiency, the most superior SWA was the formulation of 20% AAc, 30% DN, 7.5% and 20 kGy. It can effectively retained water in clay-rich soil AND HAS 46% biodegradability after 218 days.


I hope that this study can be a great reference for those interested to produce super water absorbents with ideal properties for agricultural application. If successfully commercialized, this product will primarily benefit farmers in agricultural areas with poor irrigation system. It may also enhance productivity of urban gardeners or those exploring modern farming practices in cultivation of high-value crops.

Alvin Kier Gallardo
Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Nuclear Research Institute

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Application of factorial experimental design to optimize radiation‐synthesized and biodegradable super water absorbent based on cassava starch and acrylic acid, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, July 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/app.51451.
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