Polyelectrolyte Complexes in Flocculation Applications

Chapter
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 256)

Abstract

This review concentrates on the interactions between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes and on the formation of complexes, which can be used for different applications such as paper retention or water treatment. Three different possibilities for the appearance of polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) in flocculation applications are described. Starting with the “classical” dual system (step-by-step addition of polycation and polyanion to a negatively charged suspension of fibers or particles), the interaction between a “soluble polyanion” (such as anionic trash) with polycation is described as well as the formation of well-defined pre-mixed PECs and their application as flocculants.

The influence of several parameters related to the characteristics of the solid materials (e.g., charge, particle size), the polyelectrolyte (e.g., type of charge, charge density, molar mass, hydrophobicity) and the flocculation regime (e.g., order of addition, pH, ionic strength) are discussed.

Research in this area shows great potential. Over the past 30 years, dual systems have been applied mainly in the paper industry. The application of PECs, described as particle-forming flocculants, provides new possibilities in solid–liquid separation processes. For an effective system, the application parameters have to be optimized (e.g. polymer type, concentration, charge, molecular weight). Therefore, direct and efficient methods for the characterization of the flocculation behavior (sedimentation velocity, packing density of the sludge, particle size distribution) are necessary and will be described.

Finally, the most advanced applications for PECs are discussed.

Keywords

Dual system Flocculation Polyanion Polycation Polyelectrolyte complex Pre-mixed complexes 

Abbreviations and Symbols

AFM

Atomic force microscopy

CD

Charge density

CMC

Carboxymethylcellulose

cmc

Critical micelle concentration

CNT

Carbon nanotubes

CPR

Carboxylated phenolic resin

DCS

Dissolved colloidal substances

DLS

Dynamic light scattering

DMAPAA

N,N-Dimethylaminopropylacrylamide

DSC

Differential scanning calorimetry

FTIR

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

GPE

Short-chained guest PEL

HA

Humic acid

HCS

Highly cationic starches

HMW

High molecular weight

HPE

Long-chained host PEL

LCST

Lower critical solution temperature

LMW

Low molecular weight

MMW

Medium molecular weight

NaPA

Poly(sodium acrylate)

NaPAMPS

Poly(sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate)

NaPSS

Poly(styrene-p-sodium sulfonate-sodium salt)

NIPEC

Nonstoichiometric interpolyelectrolyte complex dispersion

NPEC

Nonstoichiometric polyelectrolyte complex

OM-PEI

Oligo-maltose-modified PEI

P(MSP)

Poly(maleic acid-co-propylene)

P(MS-α-MeSty)

Poly(maleic acid-co-α-methylstyrene)

PA

Polyanion

PAA

Poly(acrylamide)

PAC

Poly(acrylic acid)

PAE

Polyamideamine epichlorohydrine condensate

PAMPS

Poly(sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate)

PC

Polycation

PC/D/PA

Polycation/dye/polyanion complexes

PCA5

Polycations containing N,N-dimethyl-2-hydroxypropylene ammonium chloride

PCA5D1

Polycations containing N,N-dimethyl-2-hydroxypropylene ammonium chloride with different hydrophobic units

PDADMAC

Poly(N,N-diallyl-N,N-dimethyl-ammonium chloride)

PEC

Polyelectrolyte complex

PEI

Poly(ethyleneimine)

PEL

Polyelectrolytes

PEO

Poly(ethylene oxide)

PI

Polydispersity index

PMADAMBQ

Copolymer of N-methacryloyloxyethyl–N-benzyl-N,N-dimethyl-ammonium chloride

PNIAA

Poly(isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid)

PNIPAAM

Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)

PNVCL

Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)

PPEI

Phosphonomethylated derivative of PEI

PR2540

Poly(acrylamide-co-sodium acrylate)

PSC

Polyelectrolyte–surfactant complex

PSS

Poly(styrene sulfonate)

PTMMAC

Poly[NNN-trimethyl-N-(2-methacryloxyethyl) ammonium chloride]

PVA

Poly(vinyl alcohol)

Quartolan

Dodecyl-amidoethyl-dimethylbencyl-ammonium chloride

SDS

Sodium dodecylsulfate

siRNA

Small interfering RNA

TC

Trash content

TOC

Total organic carbon content

XPS

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

XRD

X-ray diffraction

Polycation

Open image in new window

Polyanion

Open image in new window

Negatively charged particle

Open image in new window

Polyelectrolyte complex

Open image in new window

Micelle

Open image in new window

Negatively charged waste

Open image in new window

Surfactant

Open image in new window

Star-like polymer

Open image in new window

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are indebted to many long-term collaborators and colleagues, especially to Dr. Stela Dragan and her group (Institute Petru Poni, Iasi, Romania) and to Dr. Svetlana Bratskaya (Far East Department of Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Vladivostok, Russia). The investigations with tailored polymers, especially hydrophobic PCs, were undertaken in collaboration with Prof. Laschewsky and his group (Fraunhofer IAP Golm, Germany). Above all, we would like to thank our unforgettable colleague and friend Dr. Werner Jaeger.

Financial support from the BMBF and AiF is gratefully acknowledged.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V.DresdenGermany

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