Researchers at WSU have produce a novel superabsorbent material prepared by a macromonomer approach which provides for a superabsorbent hydrogel. Additionally, due to the method of manufacturing the hydrogel is biodegradable.
Superabsorbent hydrogels are water-absorbing polymers that can absorb 10-1000 times their weight in water. Currently, superabsorbent materials are mostly made of petroleum-based polymers, mainly copolymers of acrylic acid (or its sodium salt) and acrylamide. Which can not only be toxic to the environment, but also require specialized manufacturing methods to produce. This technology by comparison, is a protein based product that will reduce environmental impact, as well as fulfill society’s sustainability goals of producing more products from renewable resources. Additionally, the degradation of the gel as well as the mechanical properties can be controlled by varying the composition of the components. Making this technology widely applicable to a number of industries
Applications and Advantages
• Applications for this technology have a broad range: soil additives, oil treatment,
industrial dewatering, water purification, baby diapers, and adult hygiene
products to name a few
• Field testing have been conducted as an additive for watering crops
• Green alternative to what is currently on the market