Synthesis and solution properties of poly(acrylamide-styrene) block copolymers with high hydrophobic content

Authors

  • Sohel Shaikh,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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  • Sk. Asrof Ali,

    1. Department of Chemistry, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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  • Esam Z. Hamad,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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  • Basel F. Abu-Sharkh

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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Abstract

Hydrophobically associating block copolymers of polyacrylamide/styrene with a high hydrophobe content were synthesized using micellar copolymerization under various conditions of surfactant and initiator concentrations with the objective of determining the conditions that produce optimum solution properties for enhanced oil recovery. Solubilities, aqueous solution viscosities and interfacial properties with air and oil of the copolymers were investigated. The influence of salt on the solution properties was also studied. Nature of hydrophobic sites and onset of hydrophobic association were studied by measuring the fluorescence of pyrene in polymer solutions. Optimum solution properties were obtained for copolymers synthesized under conditions of high surfactant and initiator concentrations. The copolymers displayed substantial thickening properties at low concentrations with enhanced thickening in the presence of salt. The interfacial tensions of the aqueous solutions with n-decane and air were also reduced. Interfacial properties were slightly sensitive to salt concentration. The copolymer solutions showed shear and temperature thinning behaviors typical of polymer solutions.

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