Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are polymers that can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of a liquid relative to their own mass, as per Wikipedia. Water absorbing polymers, which are classified as hydrogels when cross-linked, absorb aqueous solutions through hydrogen bonding with water molecules. A SAP's ability to absorb water is a factor of the ionic concentration of the aqueous solution. In deionized and distilled water, a SAP may absorb 500 times its weight (from 30–60 times its own volume) and can become up to 99.9% liquid, but when put into a 0.9% saline solution, the absorbency drops to maybe 50 times its weight. The presence of valence cations in the solution will impede the polymer's ability to bond with the water molecule. The total absorbency and swelling capacity are controlled by the type and degree of cross-linkers used to make the gel. Low density cross-linked SAP generally have a higher absorbent capacity and swell to a larger degree. These types of SAPs also have a softer and more sticky gel formation. High cross-link density polymers exhibit lower absorbent capacity and swell, but the gel strength is firmer and can maintain particle shape even under modest pressure. The largest use of SAP is found in personal disposable hygiene products, such as baby diapers, adult protective underwear and sanitary napkins. SAP is also used for blocking water penetration in underground power or communications cable, horticultural water retention agents, control of spill and waste aqueous fluid, artificial snow for motion picture and stage production.
BASF has unveiled renewable feedstock-based HySorb® B7015MB superabsorbent polymer. The new range includes HySorb® new odor control and HySorb® Mass Balance approach, binders for fibrous materials and of additives for hygiene, filtration and medical applications.
The pioneering odor control superabsorbent polymer HySorb® in addition to BASF's superabsorbent polymer product portfolio is an innovative product to improve the quality of life for people with incontinence. By blocking the formation of ammonia, it prevents the odor caused by urine for an extended period of time. Furthermore, its high absorption capacity helps to keep the skin dry. Superabsorbent polymers are used in a variety of applications for every day needs in our life. The adult incontinence market is second only to baby care for superabsorbents and experiences the highest global growth.