Super Absorbent Polymer | Uses & Manufacturers



Super absorbent polymer (Often abbreviated as SAP or superabsorbent polymer) is a water-absorbent material.

Super absorbent capacity

SAP can not be replaced in life and production because of its characteristic of absorbing a large amount of water in a very short time. It is generally considered that among all the uses of SAP, the water absorption requirement for cable waterproofing is the highest, and the absorption rate of pure water can reach several thousand times.

Why Does Sodium Polyacrylate Absorb Water?

Non-toxic and environmentally friendly

Although it will be produced with different characteristics according to different uses, all SAPs are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. For applications with stricter environmental requirements, SAP is even grafted with starch during the production process, and this product can be directly degraded by microorganisms.

Chemical constitution

Super absorbent polymer's chemical composition is composed of sodium polyacrylate or potassium polyacrylate.

*Potassium polyacrylate is mainly used in agriculture and forestry as a water-retaining agent.

Types of Superabsorbent Polymer

Classification by raw materials

According to the raw materials, there are

  • starch systems (grafts, carboxymethylation, etc.),
  • cellulose systems (carboxymethylation, grafts, etc.),
  • and synthetic polymer systems (polyacrylic acid, polyvinyl alcohol, polyoxy vinyl, etc.).

Classification by synthesis method

At present, the production of superabsorbent polymers is divided into

  • chemical initiation method,
    • aqueous solution polymerization (the largest production volume),
    • and reversed-phase suspension polymerization.
  • gamma radiation initiation method,
  • ultraviolet radiation method ,
  • and microwave radiation method.

Classification by product form

Powder, fibrous, flake, film, foam, emulsion and round particles, etc.

*The most common form is a white powder. The final products of solution-polymerized acrylates and starch-grafted acrylates are mostly powder, and polyacrylates of reversed-phase suspension polymerization can be obtained in granular form.

List of SAP Uses

90% of SAP production is used as absorbent material in diapers every year. In fact, SAP can be used in all aspects of our lives, and I have sorted out some of its main uses below.

Body fluid absorption material

SAP for paper diaper use

For the strongest liquid absorbent material available, SAP is widely used in the production of personal hygiene products.

These hygiene products include:

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Water retaining agent for plant

water retaining agent - potassium polyacrylate in soil

SAP use list for plants:

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Water blocking material

SAP as Water blocking material in Anti-flood Bag 2479436

Super absorbent polymer (SAP) becomes a hydrogel after absorbing water, which can effectively block water.

Taking advantage of this feature, SAP is widely used in the production of products that need to block water. These products include:

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Hydrogel products

SAP absorbent beads

The hydrogel formed by SAP after absorbing water can be made into products for various purposes through modification in production.

These products include:

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Waste liquid absorption material

SUPER ABSORBENT POLYMER AS waste liquid absorption material

In addition to the application of Sap in absorbing human waste liquid, it is also widely used in absorbing other waste liquids. In this way, the liquid waste liquid becomes solid waste, which is convenient for transportation and greatly saves the cost of waste liquid treatment.

Although ordinary SAP is not cheap, thanks to its super high water absorption capacity, people have developed SAP specially used to absorb waste liquids like:

  • industrial waste liquids,
  • underground mine waste liquid,
  • and liquid excrement in public toilets, stables, chicken houses, pig houses, and cowhouses.

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Other uses

From what I said before, there are thousands of uses of sap, and they are constantly increasing, so it is impossible to list them all here.

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List of SAP's Manufacturers

The global consumption of superabsorbent polymer is composed of hygiene products accounting for 92% (including baby diapers accounting for 78%, adult incontinence pads accounting for 10%, women's sanitary napkins accounting for 4%), agriculture accounting for 4%, construction industry accounting for 1%, and other fields accounting for 3%.

Company Main product
SOCO Polymer Potassium basic SAP and Sodium basic SAP)
M2 Polymer SAP for sewage treatment
Evonik Sodium basic SAP
Santos Sodium basic SAP
sanyo-chemical Sodium basic SAP
sumitomo Sodium basic SAP
BASF SE Sodium basic SAP
shokubai Sodium basic SAP
LG Chem Sodium basic SAP
Formosa Plastics Group Sodium basic SAP

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