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Stimuli-Responsive Hybrid Polymer for Enhanced Solid-Liquid Separation of Industrial Effluents.

Environmental science & technology (2019-05-07)
Jason Ng, Ian Osborn, David Harbottle, Qingxia Liu, Jacob H Masliyah, Zhenghe Xu
ABSTRACT

In the current study, a novel stimuli-responsive hybrid polymer with aluminum hydroxide colloids incorporated into a cationic copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide and N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide was synthesized to enhance the settling and filtration performance of fine clay suspensions. The conformation of the synthesized hybrid copolymer was shown to respond to changes in both temperature and pH. Compared with a cationic copolymer of similar structure without aluminum hydroxide colloids, settling and filtration rates were significantly enhanced using the hybrid copolymer, which is attributed to the synergy between the inorganic aluminum hydroxide cores and organic copolymer. While the ideal treatment protocol for the hybrid polymer involved the addition of the polymer at room temperature, followed by heating to 45 °C for enhanced settling and dewatering, the synergistic effect between colloidal cores and polymer also allowed the hybrid polymer to perform well when added at temperatures above the LCST, demonstrating the robustness of the hybrid polymer to the process environment. The ideal treatment protocol resulted in an optimal adsorption of polymer on clays before inducing a coil-globule transition to form large and dense flocs, resulting in a more porous filter cake.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Aluminum chloride, ReagentPlus®, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
N-Isopropylacrylamide, ≥99%