Super Absorbent Polymers and Biodegradability

We recently sent Facebook & Linkedin requests to all our friends asking them to visit our site and click the Facebook “Like” button on our site to help us build external links. One young lady — a friend of a friend — wrote some disparaging comments because “superabsorbent polymers are not biodegradable.” That is a correct statement… and WRONG MINDED particularly for our principle market application — solidification of hazardous waste.

We sell our WASTE LOCK® brands of super absorbent polymers to absorb free water in many types of hazardous waste — particularly low level radioactive waste (LLRW). Besdies absorbing the water, these polymers also bind soluble metals like Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury, etc… Once bound & immobilized, you do NOT want the sorbent to be biodegradable because it would release the hazardous component back into the environment!

As a matter of fact, the US Code of Federal Regulations (40CFR264.314) requires that all sorbents used with hazardous waste be non-biodegradable and the regulation lists “long chain polymers… and crosslinked acrylic polymers” as meeting the non-biodegradable criteria.

We will publish another blog on the pros & cons of non-biodegradable superabsorbents in baby diapers in the future.

Please visit our site for more product information.

Happy New Year! MM

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