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Preparation of an acrylic acid-based superabsorbent composite: investigation of synthesis parameters

Fariba Safaei, Shahla Khalili, Saied Nouri Khorasani, and Rasoul Esmaeely Neisiany

Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran



Received: 25 March 2019  Accepted: 5 September 2019


This research was an attempt to investigate the influence of polymerization parameters including monomer concentration, neutralization percent, initiator concentration, the presence of porogen agent and Perlite content on the swelling properties of acrylic-based hydrogels and their composites. With regard to water absorbency, the conclusion drawn was that the highest levels occurred in the following conditions: monomer concentration of 6.127 M, neutralization percentage of 75, initiator concentration of 0.197 M and sodium bicarbonate, as a porogen agent, of 0.375 M. The research was also focused on the absorbency under load (AUL) of the prepared hydrogel composites (acrylic acid/Perlite) at different amounts of Perlite. The composite with Perlite content of 8.33 wt% showed maximum water absorbency under load. The chemical structure of Perlite, hydrogel and their composite was studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Furthermore, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) was used to evaluate the morphology of the prepared hydrogel; while, the energy-dispersive X-ray (EDS) was used to investigate the dispersion of the Perlite in the composite. The FTIR test results confirmed the presence of both components of hydrogel and Perlite in the composite. In addition, the FESEM images and EDS results confirmed induced porous structure after incorporating Perlite particles to the hydrogel, considering an acceptable dispersion.

Keywords: Hydrogel; Porogen agent; Gas blowing; Perlite; Water absorbency

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00927-2


Chemical Papers 74 (3) 939–949 (2020)

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