Bio-based superabsorbent hydrogels for nutrient-controlled release

Alessandra B. Ribeiro*, Helena Moreira, Sofia I. A. Pereira, Mariana Godinho, Paula Castro, Carla F. Pereira, Francisca Casanova, Ricardo Freixo, Manuela E. Pintado, Óscar L. Ramos

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisa: ???researchoutput.researchoutputtypes.workingpaper.preprint???

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The drought is characterized by a low water precipitation rate, with strong impact on the crop productivity, threaten global food production. In this context, the use of soil amendments, such as superabsorbent hydrogels constitute a potential technology for water use efficiency and increase crop yields. In this work, it was synthesised a cellulose-based hydrogel, carrying out its characterisation, evaluated its environmental safety and its potential to be used as a soil amendment. The hydrogel was successfully synthesised using a simple process and inexpensive reagents. The hydrogel showed pH of 6.0 to 7.5 and conductivity below 10.0 µS cm-1. The FTIR showed a low intensity peak in the crystallinity region, which was supported by the low crystallinity index (27.3 % ± 0.6) verified by PXRD analysis. The swelling capacity reached more than 200 g of water, the hydrogel showed good resistance to osmotic pressure and high thermostability, which favours the application in hot and arid areas. Regarding the safety evaluation, no potentially hazardous compound was detected, nor was there any adverse effect on soil microrganisms. In addition, the hydrogel was found to be safe for use during sowing and for promoting seedling development. In the green pot experiment, the hydrogel demonstrated a significant increase in maize biomass, root biomass and potential to serve as a reservoir for soil nutrients. In conclusion, the superabsorbent hydrogel exhibited promising characteristics for use as a soil amendment, scalability potential and constitutes a sustainable alternative for agricultural applications.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número de páginas34
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 20 out. 2023

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