Present study envisaged the sequential experimental design approach for the development of biodegradable Gelatin-Tapoica/polyacrylamide superabsorbent. Percentage water uptake efficacy of candidate sample was optimized using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) design under microwave irradiation. Different process variables such as potassium persulphate and ammonium persulphate (KPS:APS) ratio, pH, reaction time concentration of acrylamide and N,N-methylene-bis-acrylamide (MBA) were investigated as a function of percentage swelling using sequential experimental design. Maximum liquid efficacy of 1550% was obtained at KPS:APS = 1.0:0.5; acrylamide = 7.67 × 10−1 mol L−1; MBA = 1.76 × 10−2 mol L−1; pH 10 and time = 110 s. The 3D crosslinked network formed was characterized using Fourier Transformation Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) techniques and thermal stability was ensured by Thermal gravimetric Analysis/Differential Thermal Analysis/Differential Thermal Gravimetric (TGA/DTA/DTG) studies. Superabsorbent synthesized could increase the moisture content in different type of soils and was found to enhance the water-holding capability of the soil upto 60 days in clayey, 40 days in sandy and 51 days in mixture of two soils under controlled conditions. Further, candidate polymer was investigated for the in-vitro controlled release of the KNO3 with diffusion exponent ‘n’ was found to be 0.4326 indicating Fickian type diffusion. Also, initial diffusion coefficient (DI = 3.49 × 10−5 m2 h−1) was found to be greater than the lateral diffusion coefficient (DL = 3.76 × 10−6 m2 h−1) indicated rapid release of KNO3 during initial hours with slow release afterwards. The ecofriendly nature of the synthesized polymer was also tested by conducting biodegradation studies and it was found to degrade upto 94% and 88.1% within 70 days with degradation rate of 1.34 and 1.26% per day using composting method and vermicomposting method respectively. So, the synthesized candidate polymer was found to be boon for agriculture-horticulture sector with wide applicability.
Journal of Polymers and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 25, 2017
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