The retardation of polyacrylamide by ammonium chloride in high-salinity and high-temperature conditions: molecular analysis

  • Zulhelmi Amir
  • Ismail Mohd SaaidEmail author
  • Badrul Mohamed Jan
  • Munawar Khalil
  • Muhamad Fazly Abdul Patah
  • Wan Zairani Wan Bakar
Original Paper


Salinity effects on retardation efficiency of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) on the polyacrylamide (PAM) that influences the gelation time of PAM-based polymer gel are an interesting phenomenon. This paper presents a concise investigation by quantifying molecular interaction of PAM with NH4Cl in high-salinity and high-temperature conditions. This study quantified the ionic bonding of carboxylate group of PAM with ammonium ion of NH4Cl using zeta-potential, hydrodynamic radius, and hydrolysis degree. Experimental results show that in the absence of NaCl and NH4Cl, the overall magnitude absolute values of zeta-potential, hydrodynamic radius, and hydrolysis degree of PAM show a significant increase. The absolute value of zeta-potential reduces with the concentration of NH4Cl as retarder. On the other hand, the hydrodynamic radius and hydrolysis degree tend to increase with the concentration of NH4Cl, even in high salinity. The retardation process is also fairly affected by the exposure time of polymer to high temperature. These results give better understanding and provide additional knowledge as the conventional research did not fully reveal the efficiency of polymer gel with retarder that was prepared with high salinity for high-temperature application.


Polymer gel Polyacrylamide High salinity Hydrolysis degree Zeta-potential Hydrodynamic radius 



The authors appreciate the contributions and financial supports from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (YUTP 0153AAH05), PETRONAS (GR&T 0153CB019), and University of Malaya (FRGS FP050-2019A and GPF078A-2018), and SLAI Fellowship Scheme from Ministry of Education Malaysia and University of Malaya.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

289_2019_3023_MOESM1_ESM.docx (9.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 9795 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Petroleum EngineeringUniversity Technology PetronasBandar Seri IskandarMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Center for Energy Science, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryFMIPA Universitas IndonesiaDepokIndonesia

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