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Synthetic Hydrogels Break Down by Gypsum and Fertilizers by Making These Unsuitable for Agricultural Uses

Virender Singh Lather

Abstract: Hydrogels or super absorbents polymers (SAP) are used in agriculture for over 40 years and cross-linked polymers which absorb water 400 to 1500 times to dry weight. Hydrogels categorized into 3 classes: 1. Naturally occurring polymers 2. Semi-synthetic polymers derived from cellulose by chemically combined with petrochemicals. 3. Synthetic polymers made from petrochemicals and polyacrylamides (PAM). The ICAR also accomplished a synthetic polymer ‘Pusa hydrogel’ to reduce the irrigation requirements of the crops. The absorptive capability of hydrogel is affected by its physical-chemical composition and environmental factors. Recent novel research findings that “Gypsum precipitates the gel of synthetic hydrogels into the fluid and make them unsuitable for agricultural uses” raised serious concerns and limitation of their use in agricultural for absorption and retention of water for delays onset of permanent wilting point in the crop production.
Keywords: gypsum / Petrochemicals / Synthetic Hydrogels / Making These Unsuitable / unsuitable for agricultural uses / make them unsuitable for agricultural

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