Agriculture and its related industries are one of the major contributor to the economy of a nation. The industry holds the key to the food security for the continuous population increase and only source of livelihood for most of the people residing in rural areas. Shortage of water leads to drought, monetary loss and other unwanted infirmities such as price upsurge, lower productivity etc. All these may not have a rigid or cent percent solution but their affects can be tamed and neutralized through physical and chemical means. Using of super absorbent polymer on agricultural fields. This revolutionary formulation not only solve the water related problem but also upgrade the soil texture. Upon its application, it mixes up with soil particles and swells up on contact with water. This swelling up of the polymer behaves like small packets of water and imparts moisture retaining property to the roots of the plants. As soon as the conditions become dry, it starts releasing water molecules, which can be directly accessed, ensuring uninterrupted water supply and growth.
Potassium Polyacrylate [−CH2−CH(CO2K)−]n is based on potassium salt of polyacrylic acid, mainly used as super absorbent polymer that has the ability to absorb water few hundred times more than its size. There is one more super absorbent polymer based on sodium salt of polyacrylic acid known as sodium polyacrylate. It is also a powerful water absorbent, having more or less similar molecular structure. Using anyone of them in dry agricultural condition can get the job done but is it so? Let us see.
Sodium and Potassium polyacrylate both function as moisture retainer forming water gels on contact with water molecules but sodium gel, although having powerful retaining than the roots of plants does not release water. Moreover, sodium polyacrylate starts disintegrating within 170 hours into sodium salt, causing salinization of soil, making it unfit for irrigation. On the other hand, potassium having comparatively low water retaining capacity has water releasing function as well as have higher disintegration time and supports enhanced irrigation.
The present era is witnessing some tough situations related to depletion of some of the major natural resource, Water being an important one of them, mainly in arid and semi-arid areas due to insufficient and uncertain rainfall. The demand for clean water is rapidly increasing and its availability for coming time is declining even faster. What is alarming is that agro sector has to suffer, consuming most of the available potable water and the the current irrigation practices cannot even cater to half of the grown crops due to varied geographical dimensions of the sub-continent and varied soil textures. These areas still follow traditional practices which not only lower the effective use of water but also decrease the use of available water for crops.
The best way to differentiate potassium polyacrylate from sodium polyacrylate water bead is by exposing the same to higher temperature. Sodium polyacrylate gel will melt within seven days.
Alsta hydrogel — Chemtex Speciality Limited
Potassium Polyacrylate based Super Absorbent Polymers having cross-linking molecular structure with a hydrophilic group attached, which absorbs water to about 500–600 times of its own weight and form water beads or crystals. Hydrogel acts as a water reservoir for plants as it traps irrigation and rain water which can be released later at the time of requirement over prolonged durations. These polymers also absorb vital nutrients from the soil which are then utilized by plants for carrying out various physiological processes. One of the major advantages of hydrogel is that it can be used on a wide variety of soils. Water Hydrogel polymer does not alter the chemical composition of soils on which it is applied, nor does it interfere with the biocidal action of applied fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc. Hydrogel polymers are effective even at high temperature mainly in arid and semi-arid areas.
Use of Super Absorbent Polymer ensures following guaranteed results:
· Significant increase in water retaining ability
· Efficient usage of water
· Increase in soil permeability and infiltration rate
· Decrease in irrigation frequency
· Increase in plant performance, particularly in areas prone to drought
· Reduction in the rate of using fertilizers and pesticides
Looking at the above points, it can be confirmed that most of the problems can be catered by SAP, ensuring good monetary benefits under limited or rather same resources for the farmers and other agricultural professionals. Chemtex Speciality Limited is an esteemed manufacturer of hydrogel under the brand name “Alsta Hydrogel” that meets the standard requirement of agricultural sectors.