The differences between potassium polyacrylate and sodium polyacrylate


Brief introduction

Under the appearance of white feathers, sodium polyacrylate & potassium polyacrylate are both called "superabsorbent polymer". Both of them have powerful water-absorbent abilities.


Differences between sodium polyacrylate and potassium polyacrylate

chemical namesodium polyacrylatepotassium polyacrylate
usagesthe absorbent material of diapers,  sanitary napkins, etc.water-retaining agent for plants
appearance of absorbingwhite powder => white water gel => transparent water gelwhite powder => transparent water gel
the water-retaining ability of water gelstrong than roots of plantsweaker than roots of plants, strong than soil
decomposition timein one weekmore than two weeks
decomposition productNa+,  carbon dioxide,  water, etc.K+,  carbon dioxide,  water, etc.

Does sodium polyacrylate help plants?

Sodium polyacrylate is widely used in every aspect of our life. And we can easily get sodium polyacrylate from paper diapers, sanitary napkins, etc.

Can we use sodium polyacrylate as a water-retaining agent for plants instead of potassium polyacrylate?

The answer is obviously no.

  • No water releasing function. Different from potassium polyacrylate, sodium polyacrylate (water gel) won't release water to plants.
  • Bad for soil. Sodium polyacrylate will be decomposed into sodium salt which causes soil salinization.

How to devise them? (especially used in agriculture)

As sodium polyacrylate is much cheaper than potassium polyacrylate, some profiteers sell sodium polyacrylate as a water-retaining agent.

So we need to devise them before purchasing.

The simplest method is the sunlight test:

Expose the water gel to the sun, sodium polyacrylate (or low-quality potassium polyacrylate) water gel will melt in 7 days.

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