This study investigates the synthesis and characterization of polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels containing magnetic BaFe12O19 nanoparticles. Structural, electrical, and magnetic characterization of the gels have been performed with X-ray powder diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy, DC conductivity, magnetization and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques. The preparation and characterization of polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels that contain 5 and 10 mg BaFe12O19 (16 and 21 nm diameter) nanoparticles are described herein. It is seen from the fluorescence spectra that, nanoparticles surrounded to pyranine molecules so that some of pyranine molecules could not bound to the polymer strands. Electrical measurements show that presence of nanoparticles make the gel more homogeneous. Magnetization measurements reveal that hydrogels have hard magnetic properties with quite high coercivity of 4.2 kOe, which does not change with swelling. This feature makes these gels useful in applications as wastewater treatment if they are magnetized before use. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.