Potassium Polyacrylate

Everything about Potassium Polyacrylate – Superabsorbent Polymer for Agriculture.

Potassium polyacrylate - Water retaining agent
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    What is a superabsorbent polymer (SAP)?

    Potassium polyacrylate is a kind of superabsorbent polymer. So, what is a superabsorbent polymer (SAP)?

    As an advanced physical absorbent material, SAP can quickly absorb a large amount of water and lock it firmly. When the water absorption reaches saturation, it changes from a powder or granular state to a hydrogel state.

    Generally, the water absorption capacity of SAP can reach hundreds of times of its own. For special purposes, it can reach thousands of times.

    As an eco-friendly material, it is totally non-toxic, harmless, and nonpolluting.

    What is potassium polyacrylate?

    Potassium polyacrylate is a type of SAPs for plants as a water-retaining agent.

    Compared with ordinary SAP, agriculture grade SAP (potassium polyacrylate) has undergone post-processing in the production process (such as grafting), which makes it have the unique advantages of being specially used in agriculture:

    • Change the cation of the polymer from sodium ion to potassium ion. This not only eliminates the risk of soil salinization caused by sodium ions, but also fertilizes the soil with potassium ions after decomposition.
    • Extends the decomposition time in nature. Generally, ordinary SAP will melt and decompose after absorbing water to form a gel in about a month, while SAP for agricultural use can repeatedly absorb and release water in the soil for dozens of months.
    • Improved water absorption capacity in the soil: increased pressure absorption and ionized water absorption.

    These advantages make it like a “mini reservoir”: it absorbs enough water and stores it during the rainy season or during irrigation, and then continuously provides water to the plants when the soil is dry.

    As a result, it brings many intuitive benefits to agriculture such as:

    • improve seed germination & emergence, give plants an early, healthy start;
    • contains Potassium 18.3% and releases the fertilizer efficiency slowly;
    • save the irrigation and improve the soil water holding capacity by 85% (for sand);
    • increase crops and fruit yield by 70% (for melon planting in California).

    How does it work?

    Agriculture grade SAP consists of a set of polymeric chains that are parallel to each other and regularly linked to each other by cross-linking agents, thus forming a network.

    When water comes into contact with one of these chains, it is drawn into the molecule by osmosis. Water rapidly migrates into the interior of the polymer network where it is stored. That’s how SAP powder turns to water gel.

    As this water gel’s absorption ability is bigger than soil but less than roots of plants, the absorbed water by SAP will be released to plants when it is dry.

    Tips: the specific retention of agriculture SAP is 1.3-1.4 MPa and the specific retention of roots is about 1.6-1.7 MPa.

    Test the Potassium Polyacrylate

    Water Holding Capacity Test

    Test objective

    Performance Study in varying soil classifications (test the water retention capacity of SAP in different soils)

    Sample volumes Used

    Soil: 500ml; Water: 750ml; SAP: 5 gram;

    Test 01 – Soil Type: 100% Sand

    Test itemControl Group (without SAP) – 762gTest Group (with SAP) – 768g
    Water passing (ml)425150
    Water retaining (ml)325600
    % retaining43.380
    % increase


    Test 02 – Soil Type: 37% Sand + 40% Silt + 25% Clay

    Test itemControl Group (without SAP) – 615gTest Group (with SAP) – 626g
    Water passing (ml)275100
    Water retaining (ml)475650
    % retaining63.386
    % increase36

    Test 03 – Soil Type: 30% Sand + 48% Silt + 22% Clay

    Test itemControl Group (without SAP) – 407gTest Group (with SAP) – 400g
    Water passing (ml)352200
    Water retaining (ml)398550
    % retaining53.173.3
    % increase38

    Laboratory Test ( wilting point )

    Potassium Polyacrylate


    Super absorbent polymer for Plants

    Common plants and crops​

    Common plants and crops

    15 to 30 kg per Hectare dosage, along with seeds hole application or ditch application to the soil around the seed, the seed germination rate can effectively improve and promote seedling growth. Gets success planting corn in the U.S, mature in the arid area of Inner Mongolia, potatoes are grown in Cape Verde Africa, and melon yield increased by more than 70%.

    Common plants and crops​

    Seed coating formulations

    Seed coating use SAP should be fine particle size of 0.3 mm or less, after SAP coating the seed emergence quickly, strong and good disease resistance, this is the easily available way use SAP to plants in a drought area, which also with small quantity, low cost and good performance.

    Gardening, Horticulture, and landscape

    Gardening, horticulture, and landscape

    SAP is ideal for mixing soil matrix, for indoor and outdoor pots, planters, window boxes, balconies, terraces, roofs, hanging, gardens, and city landscape. Planting shrubs, flowers, grass, and vegetables are available. Using SAP can bring water-saving, labor-saving, and time-saving benefits and reduce the drought or wilting risk caused by a long time no watering the plants, longer the green time, and the blossom period.

    Lawn and Golf course

    Lawn and golf course

    Application in golf and lawn can save about 50%-70% water, Reduce the cost of maintenance, and Save about 30%-50% fertilizer. Lawn grows faster, and healthier, and the green lasts longer, with less pollution caused by the loss of fertilizer.

    potassium polyacrylate for Trees


    Using 10-20g SAP can double the survival rate of young trees when planting tree seedlings (bare root).

    For adult deciduous fruit trees, put SAP with organic fertilizer, taken with a ring groove or furrow in the root area. The dosage is on the soil condition, tree size, and the ditching situation should generally be 0.3% of the backfill soil and fertilizer.

    Application Details

    How to Use Potassium polyacrylate for Planted Crops

    SAP Hydrogel Method

    • Dig a parallel trench (410cm deep to the root distribution layer) at a distance of 5-20cm from the main stem of the plant.
    • The SAP gel was evenly spread into the ditch and then covered with soil after mixing evenly.

    Dry SAP Method

    • Dig a parallel trench (more than 10cm deep to the root distribution layer) at a distance of 5-20cm from the main stem of the plant.
    • Sprinkle the dry SAP evenly into the ditch, mix it evenly and cover it with soil.
    • Water well.

    How to Use Potassium polyacrylate as Seed coating formulations

    1. Wet mix coating

    • Mix the seeds into the gel (made with 80~100 mesh dry SAP), stir well, and spread out in the room to dry in the shade or pile for 1~8 hours.
    • Wait until there is no adhesion between the seeds wrapped by the gel (small seeds such as millet should be rubbed lightly after drying in the shade or mixed with fine soil) before sowing.
    • The ratio of water retention agent, seeds and water is 1: 500: 200.

    2. Dry SAP mix coating

    • Soak the seeds in water for at least 3 hours.
    • Take out the seeds and dry until the seed skin is moist and there is no adhesion between the seeds, spread the seeds evenly.
    • Sprinkle SAP (80~100 mesh) evenly on the surface of the seeds (SAP, seeds are in a ratio of 1: 1000), and form a coating on the surface of the seeds after repeated vibration or rubbing
    • Sow seeds.

    3. Fluid seeding

    The SAP water-retaining agent and water were made into a hydrogel in a ratio of 1:300, mixed with the seeds evenly, and sown into the soil through a special fluid seeder.

    How to Use Potassium polyacrylate for Gardening, horticulture, and landscape

    Dip root

    Put the flower and seedling plants into SAP gel (made with 80-100 mesh dry SAP) and dipped in the roots and then colonize.

    Potted planting

    • Use 1 part of SAP gel to add 2 to 5 parts of soil (depending on the water demand of crops), and mix well with soil.
    • First put a small part on the bottom of the flowerpot, after planting, fill it to 70% full, and then cover the surface with more than 2cm of pure soil.

    Topdressing in culture bags and pots

    Method 1:

    • Punch holes around the plant roots to a depth where the plant roots are concentrated.
    • Mix the water-retaining agent and fine soil in a ratio of 1:10 and then fill it into the hole.
    • Cover with a thin layer of soil.

    Method 2:

    • Determine the distance and depth according to the size of the plant. It is advisable to use gardening tools to create a small annular groove around the plant to the root of the plant.
    • Sprinkle dry SAP in the ditch, mix it with two-thirds of the excavated matrix, and then backfill it into the ditch to cover the remaining matrix.
    • Water well.

    Method 3:

    The gel can be applied at multiple points with a top dressing gun, and the dosage is 200~1000g/bag (pot).

    How to Use Potassium polyacrylate for Lawn and Golf course

    Newly planted lawn infrastructure

    SAP gel method

    • 1~1.6kg of SAP gel per square meter is fully mixed with the same amount of fine soil, and evenly spread on the leveled plot.
    • After a little pure soil coverage, the turf can be planted.

    Dry SAP method

    • Dry SAP (5~8g per square meter) can be applied directly during the rainy season or in wetlands.
    • After a little pure soil coverage, the turf can be planted;
    • Water enough for the first time.

    Topdressing existing lawns

    • First, poke some more even holes on the lawn with multi-tooth nails.
    • Then spread the dry SAP of the water-retaining agent evenly (5~8g per square meter).
    • After spraying, use a little pressure of scattered water to flush the particles of this agent into the small holes.
    • Water well for the first day or two.

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      Is potassium polyacrylate biodegradable?

      Yes. The starch-grafted potassium polyacrylate is biodegradable. In addition, other types of potassium polyacrylate for agriculture and forestry can be continuously decomposed naturally in the soil. The decomposed product is water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia gas will not pollute the soil. So, potassium polyacrylate is totally SAFE for the environment.

      It is worth mentioning that sodium polyacrylate is very similar to potassium polyacrylate in appearance. Still, it will form sodium ions after decomposing in soil, causing soil compaction and salinization, so you must pay attention when purchasing.

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