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Keywords:

  • adsorption;
  • copolymerization;
  • crosslinking;
  • swelling;
  • hydrophilic polymers

Abstract

A series of novel copolymer superabsorbents based on maleic anhydride (MLN), acrylamide (AAM), hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (NMBA) were prepared by inverse-suspension polymerization. The influence of the reaction parameters on the water absorption was investigated to improve the understanding and to identify the optimum reaction conditions. The water absorbences or swelling behaviors for these absorbents in various salt solutions and various alcohol solutions were studied. The tendency of the absorbency for these absorbents in salt and alcohol solutions is in the order Na+ > Ca2+ > Al3+ for NaCl, CaCl2, and AlCl3 aqueous solutions and a glycerol > glycol > methanol > ethanol solution, respectively. This article also explains the IR and SEM characterization of the water-absorbing copolymers and their practical use in soil for water retention. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 12: 2725–2731, 2003