Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) particles are primarily applied for absorbing and storing liquids. Here, poly (acrylic acid) (PAA)‐based SAP microspheres incorporated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are prepared as an effort to maintain microsphere shape during swelling and minimize gel blocking. PAA‐based SAP spheres are synthesized via inverse suspension polymerization. AgNPs are formed within SAP spheres through in situ reduction of silver nitrate (AgNO3), using polyvinylpyrrolidone as the reducing agent. The formation of AgNPs within SAP was observed via techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, ultraviolet‐visible spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses reveal that thin and dense layers of AgNPs are formed on the outer regions of the SAP spheres at higher concentrations of AgNO3. The water absorbency capacity decreases on increasing the amount of incorporated silver nanoparticles; however, it is comparable with that of commercially available surface‐crosslinked SAP particles. Finally, micro‐computerized tomography (micro‐CT) study revealed that AgNP‐incorporated SAP spheres maintained their shapes during swelling and exhibit higher void fractions in the packed gel bed, minimizing gel blocking and improving fluid permeability.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by LG Chem Ltd., and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (ministry of Science and ICT) (NRF‐ 2017M3A7B4041798, NRF‐2017M3D1A1039289).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics