Hydrogels, derived from natural or synthetic polymers, have superior swelling and adsorption properties and are being used in environmental chemistry and engineering as well as medicine and agriculture. Previously reported methods include synthesis using sonication and low-temperature polymerization using liquid nitrogen, which are used to synthesize simple hydrogels. Specific properties can be derived from co-polymers, and UV photo-initiation is considered as a means of producing such co-polymers. While hydrogels can be synthesized using various methods which yield products capable of different functions, studies have been conducted to make use of their adsorption behavior toward organic compounds. This involves specific adsorption/desorption characteristics, and therefore, it is critical to understanding the properties of synthesized hydrogles via the structural analysis using FT-IR and other characterization methods. Hydrogel co-polymers were successfully synthesized via UV photo-initiated polymerization and tested for their performance in adsorption and release of urea from human urine. This method provided a superior way of synthesis of acrylamide, cellulose and acrylic acid hybrids, and the optimization of the polymerization is being conducted to achieve higher precision and efficiency. Along with the details of optimization within the photo-initiated polymerization process, this work presents the comparative characteristics and performance results of acrylamide, cellulose and acrylic acid hybrids, and those of micro-crystalline cellulose reinforced polyacrylic hydrogels synthesized using a photo initiator and a UV light source. Additional comparison is being made through further investigation into hydrogels polymerized using sonication and molds to produce specific and structurally sound shapes.

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