Commercial versus synthesized polymers for soil erosion control and growth of Chinese cabbage

Sang Soo Lee, Scott X. Chang, Yoon Young Chang, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Soil erosion leads to environmental degradation and reduces soil productivity. The use of anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) and synthesized biopolymer (BP) using lignin, corn starch, acrylamide, and acrylic acid were tested to evaluate soil erosion, water quality, and growth of Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L.). Each treatment of PAM and BP was applied at 200 kg ha-1 to loamy sand soil and subjected to a slope of 36% with a 20 mm h-1 simulated rainfall. Application of BP decreased soil pH compared to the untreated check (CK); however, the soil pH was not altered with PAM. The decrease in pH might most likely be due to availability of anionic sites to be protonated on soils having pH >6 and soil buffering capacity. Both PAM and BP applications may not induce eutrophication with stable levels of total contents of N and P. With PAM and BP, the average values of suspended soil (SS) and turbidity were reduced by up to 96.0 and 99.9%, respectively, compared to CK. Reduction of SS can be attributed to increasing soil stability and shear strength by clay flocculation. There was no toxicity effects resulting from germination tests and the dry weight was increased by 17.7% (vs. CK) when PAM and BP were applied. These results are attributed to increases in water retention and plant-available water. The use of polymeric soil amendments is an environmentally friendly way to mitigate soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number534
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biopolymer
  • Erosion control
  • Plant growth
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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