With the aim of improving fertilizer use efficiency and minimizing the negative impact on the environment, a new double-coated slow-release nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer with water retention was prepared. Wheat straw was introduced into the formulations as the basic coating material. Specifically, poly(acrylic acid-co-N-hydroxymethyl acrylamide)/wheat straw superabsorbent composite was used as the outer coating, and wheat straw/sodium alginate blends was used as the inner coating. The degradation of the superabsorbent composite in the soil solution was studied. The impact of the content of wheat straw on the extent of degradation in cellulase solution was also examined. The superabsorbent composite synthesized under the optimal conditions showed super water absorbency and excellent degradability. The water-retention property and the nutrient slow-release behavior of the product were investigated. The results revealed that the product with water-retention and slow-release capacity, being economical, nontoxic in soil, and eco-friendly, could find good application in agriculture and horticulture. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
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