New processes for the synthesis of water-soluble polymers in heterogeneous systems
For retention or dehydration applications, mainly high molecular weight polyelectrolytes are used. Currently, these polymers are produced in heterogeneous polymerization with the continuous phase being either oil (w/o-system) or a highly concentrated aqueous salt solution (w/w-system). However, these processes introduce substances like oil or salts into the product that are valueless, unwanted and sometimes even interfering with the application. Furthermore, products from w/o-dispersions demand an often time-consuming inversion and conditioning of the dispersion. Moreover, the polymer cannot act to full effect due to its suboptimal solution state.
Hence, we evaluate possibilities to produce polymer dispersions without added oil or classical precipitation salts. We develop ideas for the design of stabilizers and other process tools and work on corresponding synthesis processes. One of the favored approaches is to use primary flocculants as process tool. In such a process, we are able to use the advantages of synthesis in w/w-dispersion (producing high molar masses while keeping control technically feasible without using oil as continuous phase) while obtaining a product that combines two active agents and consequently eases logistics for the user.