Chemistry and physics of “agricultural” hydrogels

  • Kazanskii K
  • Dubrovskii S
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Abstract

Superabsorbent polymer hydrogels can swell to absorb huge volumes of water or aqueous solutions. This property has led to many practical applications of these new materials, in particular, in agriculture for improving water retention of soils and the water supply of plants. This article reviews methods of superabsorbent gel synthesis, measurements and treatment of their properties, as well as their effects in soil and on plant growth. The thermodynamic approach used to describe the swelling behavior of polymer networks proves to be quite helpful in modelling the hydrogel efficiency as a water-absorbing additive.

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Authors

  • K S Kazanskii

  • S A Dubrovskii

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