Effects Of Sodium Polyacrylate
This is evident in the variability of the compound’s absorptive capacity; tap water will not absorb nearly as much water as deionized water. The high concentration of natural ions (i.e. sodium, calcium, etc.) within the tap water, means that less sodium ions can be displaced from sodium polyacrylate, resulting in an isotonic (osmotic equilibrium) solution much faster (France).
In addition to its ability to absorb water, sodium polyacrylate can form cross-linked bonds with itself (Superabsorbent Polymers). This has resulted in many chemists even referring to it as a “network polymer” (Super-absorbing Polymer). As shown in Figure 1, the curve of the structure is due these cross-linked bonds. In fact, many proprietary versions of sodium polyacrylate remove carboxylate functional groups from the structure, increasing the number of cross-linked bonds that can form, thus resulting in a stronger structure (Superabsorbent Polymers). It should be noted though that the more cross-linked bonds present, the less surface area for water molecules to bond with, and thus a smaller absorptive …show more content…
Leveraging the power of such a polymer has resulted in the projected growth of billions of dollars, as well as a multitude of various research projects. Chemists are increasingly finding the application of polymers in the commercial space as very beneficial. As a result, the modification of sodium polyacrylate and other polymers via the manipulation of its structure has become the topic of much research in the past few years. With the ability to design polymers with a certain purpose in mind, one can only wonder what the next big polymer will