U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Evaluation of alternatives to guar gum as tackifiers for hydromulch and as clumping agents for biodegradable cat litter

Steven F. Vaughn, James A. Kenar, Frederick C. Felker, Mark A. Berhow, Steven C. Cermak, Roque L. Evangelista, George F. Fanta, Robert W. Behle, Edward Lee
Industrial crops and products 2013 v.43 pp. 798-801
mulching, biodegradable products, methylcellulose, corn starch, waxy corn, amylose, pectins, Plantago, Physaria fendleri, cats, guar gum, erosion control, rain, rainfall simulation, Camelina sativa, lignin, application rate, adhesives, xanthan gum
Guar gum is currently the principal gum used as a tackifier for hydromulch used in erosion control, and as a clumping agent in biodegradable cat litters. Due to recent severe price increases for guar gum, cheaper alternatives are being investigated. We examined several alternatives, including xanthan gum, plantago gum, methyl cellulose, pectin, lignin, camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) and lesquerella [Lesquerella fendleri (A. Gray) S. Wats.] seedmeals (which both contain polysaccharide gums), waxy corn starch (which lacks amylose), and both high amylose (70% apparent amylose content) and normal (25% apparent amylose content) corn starch–sodium palmitate inclusion complexes produced by steam jet cooking. Plantago and xanthan gums, lignin-CaCl2, camelina and lesquerella seedmeals, and the high amylose starch–sodium palmitate inclusion complex were as effective in resistance to simulated rainfall as guar when used as hydromulch tackifiers at a standard application rate. Methyl cellulose, pectin, waxy starch and the normal corn starch–sodium palmitate inclusion complex had lower rainfall resistance than guar. For cat litter clumping ability, plantago and xanthan gums and methyl cellulose were equal to guar gum at the 2% rate. Pectin and the normal starch–sodium palmitate inclusion complex had acceptable levels of clumping at this rate. Lesquerella seedmeal and the high amylose starch–sodium palmitate inclusion complex had acceptable clumping only at the higher (6%) rate tested but not at the 2% rate. Neither camelina seedmeal nor waxy starch had acceptable clumping values at either rate. These results indicate that several of these materials are potential alternatives to guar as a tackifier for hydromulch and in clumping cat litters, particularly if material costs are significantly lower.