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Synthesis and characterization of maleic acid polymer for use as scale deposits inhibitors



The problem of scale formation in oil field production facilities is encountered as a result of mixing of injection water (Lias) rich in sulfate with formation water (Ordovicien) rich in barium.1 A large number of methods have been developed for the prevention of these deposits. In this work, poly(maleic acid) was studied to ascertain its suitability as an inhibitor of barium sulfate scale deposits. It was synthesized by a free radical solution polymerization. Two different initiators were used namely a potassium persulfate and a redox system composed of potassium persulfate/sodium-hypophosphite monohydrate. Their concentrations were varied to obtain low-molecular weight polymers. Physical and chemical properties of the polymers obtained were measured by infrared and UV/VIS spectrometry, solubility test, viscosimetry, refractometry, and liquid chromatography. The effectiveness of poly (maleic acid) formulations as scale inhibitor was studied by turbidimetric tests. The most effective inhibitor formulation was found to be that based on poly(maleic acid) prepared via a redox initiating system. This polymer, used at a concentration of 3 ppm, presented the highest effectiveness namely 96% and 88% at room and oil well temperature, respectively, when compared with two commercial inhibitors. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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