Synthesis and Urea-Loading of an Eco-Friendly Superabsorbent Composite Based on Mulberry Branches

Xiying Liang, Yong Zhang, Lin Liu, Juming Yao


Mulberry branch, consisting of bark and stalk, was used as raw skeleton material without any chemical pre-treatment to synthesize an eco-friendly mulberry branch-g-poly(acrylic acid-co-acrylamide) (PMB/P(AA-co-AM)) superabsorbent composite. The synthesis conditions and properties of the PMB/P(AA-co-AM) superabsorbent composite were investigated. The results showed that under the optimal synthesis conditions, the water absorbency of the prepared PMB/P(AA-co-AM) reached 570.5 g/g in deionized water, 288.0 g/g in tap water, and 70.0 g/g in 0.9 wt% aqueous NaCl solution. The PMB/P(AA-co-AM) composite also exhibited excellent water retention capacity as well as a rapid water absorbency rate. The urea loading percentage of the PMB/P(AA-co-AM) composite was controlled by the concentration of aqueous urea solution. The release of urea from the loaded PMB/P(AA-co-AM) composite in deionized water initially exhibited a high rate of release for 60 min, followed by a rapid decline. Meanwhile, the PMB/P(AA-co-AM) superabsorbent composite with larger particle size achieved a better sustained release of urea.


Mulberry branch; Superabsorbent composite; Synthesis condition; Water absorbency and retention; Urea loading and release

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