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Water 2014, 6(7), 2056-2069; doi:10.3390/w6072056

Experimental Assessment of the Use of a Novel Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for the Optimization ofWater Consumption in Agricultural Irrigation Process

Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Complesso Ecotekne, Edificio Corpo O, via Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
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Received: 14 April 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
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Abstract

In this work, an innovative cellulose-based superabsorbent polymer (SAP) was experimentally assessed as an environmentally friendly alternative to acrylate-based SAPs, for the optimization of water consumption in agriculture. The cellulose-based SAP was synthesized and tested for its swelling capability in different aqueous media. The effectiveness of the SAP in agricultural applications was then evaluated by analyzing its performance after several absorption/desorption cycles, over a period of approximately 80 days, upon addition to different types of soil, i.e., white and red soil, for the cultivation of two varieties of plants typical of the Mediterranean area (tomatoes and chicory). The results confirmed that SAP-amended soil can store a considerable amount of water and can release it gradually to the plant roots when needed. The adoption of the proposed SAP in cultivations could thus represent a promising solution for the rationalization of water resources, especially in desert areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; hydrogel; irrigation optimization; superabsorbent polymer; water management agriculture; hydrogel; irrigation optimization; superabsorbent polymer; water management
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

Cannazza, G.; Cataldo, A.; De Benedetto, E.; Demitri, C.; Madaghiele, M.; Sannino, A. Experimental Assessment of the Use of a Novel Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for the Optimization ofWater Consumption in Agricultural Irrigation Process. Water 2014, 6, 2056-2069.

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