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Synthetic- and bio-polymer use for runoff water quality management in irrigation agriculture

Sojka, R.E. and Entry, J.A. and Orts, W.J. and Morishita, D.W. and Ross, C.W. and Horne, D.J. (2005) Synthetic- and bio-polymer use for runoff water quality management in irrigation agriculture. Water Science & Technology. 51(3-4):107-115.

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Low concentrations of synthetic- or bio-polymers in irrigation water can nearly eliminate
sediment, N, ortho- and total-P, DOM, pesticides, micro-organisms, and weed seed from runoff. These
environmentally safe polymers are employed in various sensitive uses including food processing, animal
feeds, and potable water purification. The most common synthetic polymer is anionic, high purity
polyacrylamide (PAM), which typically provides 70-90% contaminant elimination. Excellent results are
achieved adding only 10 ppm PAM to irrigation water, applying 1 -2 kg ha. -1 per irrigation, costing
$4-$12 kg -1 . Biopolymers are less effective. Using twice or higher concentrations, existing biopolymers
are ,r=60% effective as PAM, at 2 - 3 times the cost. A half million ha of US irrigated land use PAM for
erosion control and runoff protection. The practice is spreading rapidly in the US and worldwide. Interest
in development of biopolymer surrogates for PAM is high. If the supply of cheap natural gas (raw material
for PAM synthesis) diminishes, industries may seek alternative polymers. Also "green" perceptions and
preferences favor biopolymers for certain applications

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1150
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Erosion
Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Runoff losses
Water > Water quality
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:49
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 15:30
Item ID: 11