Developing Biodegradable Cellulose-Based Hydrogels as Water Reservoirs and Nutrients Carriers in Agriculture

Objective

  • Investigate the potential of Cellulose-Based Superabsorbent Hydrogel (CBSAH) as a system for the sustained release of water
  • Investigate the potential of CBSAH as carriers for delivering the necessary phytochemicals and nutrients to plants
  • Produce CBSAH-amended soil for agriculture and horticulture 

Impact

  • Reduced water consumption and water resource optimization in agriculture and horticulture
  • Converting biomass in Alberta into value-added products
  • Make cultivation possible in arid areas of the world
  • Introduce biocompatible alternatives to acrylate-based hydrogels

Key Milestones

  • Produce CBSAH model compounds by finding the suitable method and biocompatible cross-linking agent
  • Characterize physical properties of produced CBSAH at different environmental conditions
  • Impregnate with nutrients and study their release behaviour
  • Produce CBSAH from the real biomass
  • Evaluate in experimental green houses
  • Determine economic and commercial viability