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Carbohydr Polym. 2013 Feb 15;92(2):1367-76. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.10.030. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Starch derivative-based superabsorbent with integration of water-retaining and controlled-release fertilizers.

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College of Natural Resource and Environment, School of South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.


Phosphate rock (PHR), a traditional fertilizer, is abundant, but is hard to be utilized by plants. To improve the utilization of PHR, and to integrate water-retaining and controlled-release fertilizers, an agricultural superabsorbent polymer based on sulfonated corn starch/poly (acrylic acid) embedding phosphate rock (SCS/PAA/PHR) was prepared. PHR can be suspended and well-dispersed in SCS/PAA by sulfonated corn starch (SCS). PHR and KOH were mixed in acrylic acid solution to provide phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) nutrients, respectively. Impacts on water absorption capacity of the superabsorbent were investigated. The maximum swelling capacity in distilled water or 0.9 wt.% (weight percent) NaCl solution reached 498 g g(-1) and 65 g g(-1) (water/prepared dry superabsorbent) respectively. Moreover, release behaviours of P and K in SCS/PAA/PHR were also investigated. The results showed that SCS/PAA/PHR possessed excellent sustained-release property of plant nutrient, and the SCS/PAA could improve the P release greatly. Besides, the XPS analysis was employed to study the relationship between PHR and superabsorbent polymer.

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