A team of senior academics from the OUSL and other senior scientists have filed an application for a Patent for the process of producing a cross-linked cellulose and acrylic acid grafted super absorbent copolymer using a domestic microwave oven for agricultural applications. The project team comprised of Prof. S.A Ariadurai - Department of Textile and Apparel Technology, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Dr. A.G.B Aruggoda - Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Ms. C. K Disanayaka - senior scientist office Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board, Ms. S. Kulathunge - former Director Gamma Centre, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board.
Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) are structurally cross-linked, highly swollen, hydrophilic polymer networks capable of absorbing a large amount of water or aqueous saline solutions, practically 10 to 1000 times of their original weight or volume (Ramazani-Harandi et al., 2006). In the field of agriculture, one major purpose of using SAPs is to aid water sustenance and improve humidity condition of growth media. Further, SAPs are used to increase the water availability to the plant in the growth media, which would enable the plants to survive longer under water stress.