Ethanol-assisted dispersion of attapulgite and its effect on improving properties of alginate-based superabsorbent nanocomposite

Authors

  • Yizhe Wang,

    1. Center of Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China
    2. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People's Republic of China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xiaoning Shi,

    1. Center of Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China
    2. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People's Republic of China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Wenbo Wang,

    1. Center of Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China
    2. R&D Center of Xuyi Attapulgite Applied Technology, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Xuyi, 211700, People's Republic of China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Aiqin Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China
    2. R&D Center of Xuyi Attapulgite Applied Technology, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Xuyi, 211700, People's Republic of China
    • Center of Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The dispersion of attapulgite (APT) as nanorod-like single crystals is crucial to fully develop its functionality of one-dimensional nanometer material as a filler of composite materials. In this study, APT was dispersed by the assistance of ethanol during the high-pressure homogenization process to form individual nanorod-like crystals. The dispersed APT was used to prepare new sodium alginate-g-poly(sodium acrylate-co-styrene)/attapulgite (NaAlg-g-P(NaA-co-St)/APT) superabsorbent nanocomposites. The effect of ethanol/water ratio on the dispersion of crystal bundles of APT was investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy, and the results indicate that APT crystal bundles were effectively disaggregated in ν(CH3CH2OH) : ν(H2O) − 5 : 5 solution after homogenized at 50 MPa. The better dispersion of APT in NaAlg-g-P(NaA-co-St) matrix has clearly improved the gel strength (from 1300 Pa to 1410 Pa, ω = 100 rad/s), swelling capacity (442–521 g/g), swelling rate (3.3303–4.5736 g/g/s), and reswelling ability of the superabsorbent nanocomposite. Moreover, the nanocomposites showed fast swelling–deswelling responsive behavior in different saline solutions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

Ancillary