NC State
Liang, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, L., and Yao, J. (2013). "Synthesis and urea-loading of an eco-friendly superabsorbent composite based on mulberry branches," BioRes. 8(1), 130-144.


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 sustanined release of urea.
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