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Synthesis, Characterization, and swelling behaviors of acrylic acid/carboxymethyl cellulose superabsorbent hydrogel by glow-discharge electrolysis plasma



This article exploits a new approach for synthesis of acrylic acid/carboxymethyl cellulose (AA/CMC) superabsorbent hydrogel in aqueous solution by a simple one-step using glow-discharge electrolysis plasma, in which N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) was used as a crosslinking agent. The reaction parameters affecting the equilibrium swelling, that is, discharge voltage, discharge time, mass ratio of AA to CMC, content of crosslinker, and degree of neutralization, were systematically optimized to achieve a superabsorbent hydrogel with a maximum equilibrium swelling. The structure, thermal stability, and morphology of AA/CMC superabsorbent hydrogel were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. The swelling kinetics in distilled water and swelling behaviors in various pH solutions and salts solutions (NaCl, KCl, MgCl2, CaCl2, AlCl3, and FeCl3) were investigated in detail. The effect of six cationic salt solutions on the equilibrium swelling had the following order K+ > Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+ > Al3+ > Fe3+. In addition, the pH-reversibility was preliminarily investigated with alternating pH between 6.5 and 2.0. The results showed that the equilibrium swelling of AA/CMC was achieved in 90 min. The hydrogel was responsive to the pH and salts, and was reversible swelling and deswelling behavior. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:2310–2320, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers