Sodium polyacrylate is the the superabsorbent polymer (SAP) in disposable diapers, but it has a host of other uses as well (in addition to drying out the leak in my old Mercedes' footwell): Fuel-Dri Tank Dewatering System, available from Hammonds: "MIL-SPEC product, no tank retrofitting required." [You mean Our Troops don't HAVE to shove Pampers into their Humvee gas tanks? Rumsfeld, I oughta take you out to the woodshed.]
Flood water jiu-jitsu: Water Gel Bag creates instant pop-up barriers to that are light and easy to place until they start absorbing.
Baby Diaper Absorbs Snake Venom: A Reuters story from last summer, where the parents didn't notice the fang marks until that night [!?]
Water-retentive pavement, which helps lower road surface temperatures in Japan by more than 10 degrees Celsius.
Dries out water-soaked library books in minutes, not hours. Or at least it will.
From a history of the Illinois bio-ag scientists who invented it--and dubbed it Super Slurper:
"a seed coating that accelerates germination by a remarkable thirty percent"
"used to coat roots of plants in dry areas"
"used inoil filters to remove water from fuels" [see above]
"Super Slurper added to soil in citrus groves is able to help keep nematodes alive during dry periods."
"used as an electrical conductor in batteries and in ice packs."
Previously: Malcolm Gladwell sniffs around diapers