• monomers;
  • mixing;
  • crosslinking


To obtain new polymeric materials for environmental management, we used pine needles from the huge forest of the Western Himalayas as a source of cellulose. Cellulose was derivatized to hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), a useful water-soluble cellulose ether. HPC was graft-copolymerized with acrylamide (AAm) with benzoyl peroxide as the initiator. At optimum grafting conditions, five different concentrations of the comonomers glycidyl methacrylate, acrylic acid, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, and acrylonitrile were grafted with AAm. Networks of HPC and AAm were also synthesized by crosslinking reactions with glutaraldehyde as a crosslinker over a range of four different concentrations of crosslinker under acidic conditions. Crosslinked networks of HPC with AAm and a comonomer at one comonomer concentration were also synthesized. Graft copolymers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and swelling behavior. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 545–555, 2004