Iranian Polymer Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 561–570 | Cite as

Enzyme-based green approach for the synthesis of gum tragacanth and acrylic acid cross-linked hydrogel: its utilization in controlled fertilizer release and enhancement of water-holding capacity of soil

  • SaruchiEmail author
  • Balbir Singh Kaith
  • Rajeev Jindal
  • G. S. Kapur
Original Paper


Enzyme lipase catalyzed graft copolymerization of acrylic acid onto gum tragacanth was carried out in an aqueous medium using glutaraldehyde as a cross-linker, one more step towards green chemistry. Various reaction variables such as time, amount of solvent, temperature, pH, lipase concentration, and monomer and cross-linker concentrations were optimized to achieve a cross-linked candidate polymer with maximum fluid absorbance capacity. The structure and morphology were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The synthesized hydrogel held a large amount of water and was used as a device for controlled release of urea. A 10 % (w/w) of swelled hydrogel was found to enhance the water-holding capacity of the soil. The synthesized device could increase the moisture content up to 52 % in sandy loam soil and 72 % in clay soil and was found to enhance the water-holding capability of the soil. Further, the candidate polymer was studied for the controlled release of urea under eco-friendly conditions and showed case-II type urea release. The initial diffusion coefficient was found to be higher than the later diffusion coefficient indicating a higher urea release rate during the early stage. Thus, the synthesized polymer is important from technological point of view.


Hydrogel Tragacanth gum Acrylic acid Lipase Urea Agriculture 



One of the authors Saruchi is grateful to Ministry of Human Resource Development New Delhi for providing fellowship (No. F. 9-2/2007 TS.I). The authors are also grateful to authorities of Dr. BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar for providing necessary laboratory facilities and infrastructure to carry out the present work.


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Copyright information

© Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saruchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Balbir Singh Kaith
    • 1
  • Rajeev Jindal
    • 1
  • G. S. Kapur
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryDr BR Ambedkar National Institute of TechnologyJalandharIndia
  2. 2.Petrochemical and Polymer Division, Research and Development CentreIndian Oil Corporation LimitedFaridabadIndia

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