Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What Is Sodium Polyacrylate?
A polymer found frequently in daily life. Sodium polyacrylate is the absorbent material found in baby diapers, artificial decorative snow, and detergents. They polymer structure is made up of one molecule of oxygen, one molecule of sodium oxide, a carbon base, and three hydrogen molecules.
Step 2: Inspiration
I have five horses. Cleaning up their stalls is a pain. Mucking wouldn't be so bad but the urine gets between the cracks of their rubber mats and it smells like ammonia. I wanted to find something that would get the urine out of hard to reach places, withstand the corrosive properties of horses urine, and make it smell less.
Step 3: Observations
Sodium Polyacrylate can absorb 300 times it's mass in liquid. When water is combined with it, it turns from a powder to a fluffy substance that is cool to touch. Under the microscope one granule of the Sodium Polyacrylate looks like cut rock. When a drop of water was added it turned into something 3 times it's size that resembled a jello jiggler. The fluffy property of the combination also allows air throughout. This lets the oxygen kill alot of the bacteria that gives the urine an unpleasant odor.
Step 4: A Job Well Done
The Sodium Polyacrylate worked so well that I'm sure it would make a good product. Horse owners everywhere would want to use this to cut their maintenance time in half. Sodium Polyacrylate could be put into liners and used for trailers an stalls or it could be sprinkled on urine like rock salt on ice. It sucks liquid out of cracks and de-odorizes the urine. A great solution to an irritating problem.