Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 2235–2242 | Cite as

Swelling behaviors of superabsorbent chitin/carboxymethylcellulose hydrogels

  • Hu Tang
  • Han Chen
  • Bo Duan
  • Ang Lu
  • Lina Zhang


Novel superabsorbent chitin/carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) hydrogels were successfully prepared from mixture of CMC and chitin solution dissolved in 8 wt% NaOH/4 wt% urea aqueous system at low temperature by crosslinking with epichlorohydrin. The morphology and structure of the resultant composite hydrogels were investigated by scanning electron microscope, thermogravimetry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results indicated that the stiff chains of chitin are as a strong backbone in the hydrogel to support the pore wall, whereas the CMC contributed to water absorption. The maximum swelling ratio in water reached an exciting level of 1300 as the hydrogels still kept an intact appearance. Moreover, the hydrogels exhibited smart swelling and shrinking behaviors in NaCl and CaCl2 aqueous solution, showing salt-responsive adsorption behaviors in different media. This work provided a “green” pathway to prepare chitin-based superabsorbent hydrogels, which would be potential for the application in the biodegradable water-absorbent material field.


Chitin Epichlorohydrin Hydrogel Sample Superabsorbent Polymer Synthetic Urine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2010CB732203), the Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (21334005), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20874079 and 51203122).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hu Tang
    • 1
  • Han Chen
    • 1
  • Bo Duan
    • 1
  • Ang Lu
    • 1
  • Lina Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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