Superabsorbent polymers achieved by surface cross linking of poly(sodium acrylate) using microwave method
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Surface cross linking is a post-treatment process for superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) leading to an increase in the absorbency under load (AUL). This process is typically carried out through conventional heating method. In the current study, for the first time, microwave method was used for surface treatment process of SAPs based on poly(sodium acrylate). Diglycidyl materials such as 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDGE), polyethylene diglycidyl ether (PEGDGE), and ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EGDGE) were utilized as surface cross-linking agents. Also, N,N-Dimethylaniline was used as a catalyst for surface treatment of poly(sodium acrylate) SAP with diglycidyl materials as the external cross linkers. The results showed that surface treatment time can be reduced from 1 to 3 h in the conventional heating to a few minutes by microwave method. The use of catalyst in surface treatment solution resulted in higher AULs. The AULs of SAPs were increased from 14 g/g for unmodified SAP to 17.5, 19 and 20.7 g/g after surface treatment for surface-treated SAPs with BDDGE, PEGDGE and EGDGE, respectively. These results present the microwave method as an effective alternative candidate for thermal surface treatment of SAP which can have economic benefits from the viewpoint of time and energy consumption industrially.
KeywordsSuperabsorbent polymer Surface cross linking Microwave-assisted method N,N-Dimethylaniline Absorbency under load (AUL)
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