Is super absorbent polymer OK for soil?


Super absorbent polymer (SAP)

What is a super absorbent polymer indeed?

In agriculture, the superabsorbent polymer is also called water retaining polymer or soil condition agent.

It is a powerful water-absorbent material. The water absorption is hundreds of times of its weight.

1. Appearance

Before absorbing: White (or brownness)  powder/granule.
After absorbing: Transparent gel.

2.Chemical component

The main chemical component of SAP is sodium polyacrylate or potassium polyacrylate.

  • Sodium polyacrylate is produced by sodium hydroxide and acrylic acid;
  • Potassium polyacrylate is produced by potassium hydroxide and acrylic acid.


SAP can increase the water holding capacity of soil which is the meaning:

  • The yield of crops/fruit trees will be increased;
  • The water cost will be reduced;
  • The fertilizer efficiency will be increased by reducing the loss to the underground.

>> Water Holding Capacity Test

Is super absorbent polymer good for the soil?

1.Potassium polyacrylate SAP

Potassium polyacrylate is totally good for soil:

  • Before decomposed in the soil, it can keep increasing the water holding capacity of soil;
  • After decomposed in the soil, potassium polyacrylate would break into potassium, water, carbon dioxide, etc.

2.Sodium polyacrylate SAP

In agriculture, sodium polyacrylate obviously is a bad choice.

After decomposed in the soil, sodium polyacrylate would be break into the water, carbon dioxide, and sodium which would cause soil alkalization.

Tips: As sodium polyacrylate is much cheap than potassium polyacrylate, profiteers would sell sodium polyacrylate instead of potassium polyacrylate.

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