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Molecules 2012, 17(8), 9397-9412; doi:10.3390/molecules17089397

Improvement in the Water Retention Characteristics of Sandy Loam Soil Using a Newly Synthesized Poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic Acid)/AlZnFe2O4 Superabsorbent Hydrogel Nanocomposite Material

1
Department of Physics, University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
2
Department of Physics, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Sargodha, Sargodha 40100, Pakistan
4
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
5
Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 June 2012 / Revised: 26 July 2012 / Accepted: 27 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Organic Synthesis)
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Abstract

The use of some novel and efficient crop nutrient-based superabsorbent hydrogel nanocomposites (SHNCs), is currently becoming increasingly important to improve the crop yield and productivity, due to their water retention properties. In the present study a poly(Acrylamide-co-acrylic acid)/AlZnFe2O4 superabsorbent hydrogel nanocomposite was synthesized and its physical properties characterized using Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX), FE-SEM and FTIR spectroscopic techniques. The effects of different levels of SHNC were studied to evaluate the moisture retention properties of sandy loam soil (sand 59%, silt 21%, clay 19%, pH 7.4, EC 1.92 dS/m). The soil amendment with 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 w/w% of SHNC enhanced the moisture retention significantly at field capacity compared to the untreated soil. Besides, in a separate experiment, seed germination and seedling growth of wheat was found to be notably improved with the application of SHNC. A delay in wilting of seedlings by 5–8 days was observed for SHNC-amended soil, thereby improving wheat plant growth and establishment.
Keywords: poly(AAm-co-AA)/AlZnFe2O4 superabsorbent hydrogel nanocomposite characterization; EDX; FESEM; FTIR; soil amendment; seedling growth poly(AAm-co-AA)/AlZnFe2O4 superabsorbent hydrogel nanocomposite characterization; EDX; FESEM; FTIR; soil amendment; seedling growth
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shahid, S.A.; Qidwai, A.A.; Anwar, F.; Ullah, I.; Rashid, U. Improvement in the Water Retention Characteristics of Sandy Loam Soil Using a Newly Synthesized Poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic Acid)/AlZnFe2O4 Superabsorbent Hydrogel Nanocomposite Material. Molecules 2012, 17, 9397-9412.

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