Scientists have developed a hydrogel from gum of guar (cluster bean) that can increase soil moisture and help farmers save their crops in case of water scarcity. The Guar gum-based hydrogel is biodegradable. Besides increasing moisture content, it also adds organic content to the soil upon degradation.
Higher porosity improves soil aeration, direct penetration of the water and microbial count thus improving overall quality of the soil. The hydrogel absorb up to 800 ml water per gram. Water holding capacity also increases up to 54 per cent of its original and porosity also increased up to 9 per cent of its original. While the maximum water holding capacity of untreated soil was found to be 33.59 per cent.