Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1086–1095 | Cite as

Synthesis, Characterization, and Swelling Behaviors of Poly(acrylic acid-co-acrylamide)/Pozzolan Superabsorbent Polymers

  • Ismail AnilEmail author
  • Seyda Tugba Gunday
  • Omar Alagha
  • Ayhan Bozkurt
Original paper


This article introduces the design and optimization of a new eco-superabsorbent polymer (SAP) aiming to achieve maximum water absorption. In this study, the incorporation of the natural pozzolan (Poz) as an inorganic filler into a SAP was investigated for the first time. A new type of cross-linker, Bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate, was used in the preparation of SAPs. The Taguchi optimization results revealed that factors’ level of significance on the water absorption are acrylamide (AAm) > acrylic acid (AA) > Poz. The optimum levels of factors that provide maximum water absorption are 30.8% AA, 30.8% AAm, and 38.4% of Poz in total weight. This high percentage of Poz in the optimized SAP is the highest ratio of an inorganic filler to a SAP ever mentioned in the literature. The water absorption capacities of the optimized polymer in ultrapure water and saline water were measured as 11,000 wt% and 2120 wt%, respectively. The overall assessment of FT-IR, XRD, TGA, SEM, and BET studies revealed the successful and homogeneous intercalation of Poz into poly(AA-co-AAm). This new eco-product with enhanced the water absorption capacity and thermal stability can be potentially used as soil conditioners in agricultural activities especially in arid regions.


Superabsorbent polymer Water absorption Taguchi optimization Natural pozzolan Acrylic acid Acrylamide 



The project was financially supported by the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC) of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University but not from a specific project. The authors gratefully acknowledge Ms. Fatimah Al-Fares due to her experimental work. The authors also acknowledge Dr. Walid Al-Kutti for providing the Saudi natural pozzolan.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering Department, College of Engineering A13Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Biophysics, Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC)Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia

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