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A multivariant study of the absorption properties of poly(glutaric acid-glycerol) films

Authors

  • Victor T. Wyatt,

    Corresponding author
    1. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038
    • United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038
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  • Madhav Yadav

    1. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038
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Abstract

Hydrogels and organogels are polymer networks that can absorb large amounts of water and organic solvent, respectively. In this study, solvent absorption into the matrices of poly(glutaric acid-glycerol) hydrogel and organogel films amended with or without either iminodiacetic acid, sugarcane bagasse, pectin, corn fiber gum, or microcrystalline cellulose has been evaluated. Most of the starting materials used in this study, such as glycerol and the plant wall polysaccharides, are by-products of biofuel production. Finding uses for them would further biofuel initiatives worldwide. To that end, experimental results showed that water absorption increased when using polymer films composed of additional glycerol or plant cell wall polysaccharides. The amount of solvent absorbed into the control film increased when incubated in pH 10 buffer solutions but decreased when incubated in pH 4 buffer solutions and NaCl solutions when compared with absorption of water. Incubating the polymers in solvent at elevated temperatures increased the absorption rate. It was determined that the combined effects of pKa and polarity can be used to predict solvent absorption. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) could be selectively extracted from or desorbed into films from other solvents. Erosion of the polymer films in DMSO ranged from 1.9 (±0.2) to 34.7 (±3.4)%. In water, erosion ranged from 6.3 (±3.2) to 32.7 (±3.2)%. The polymer films resorbed 3.3- and 2.3-fold more DMSO and water, respectively, when compared with the original amount of absorbed solvent. These materials are potentially good candidates for agricultural and medicinal applications because their ability to absorb, desorb, and erode can be tuned. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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