Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery

Date:
July 30, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery.

Thanks to the positively and negatively charged units in their monomers, zwitterionic polymers have a high affinity for water -- a property known as hydrophilicity. This property helps prevent fouling, namely the build-up of contaminants. Current zwitterionic polymers are not effective in water as they use monomers such as commercially available acrylamide and methacrylates that tend to decompose and lose their electrostatic characteristics when wet.

Related Articles


To solve this issue, a team led by Vivek Vasantha from the A*STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore has now developed zwitterionic polymers based on water-stable monomers that incorporate nitrogen-containing derivatives known as imidazoles[1]. The team introduced the zwitterions to readily accessible, hydrophobic polystyrene to boost its hydrophilicity in water by forming a hydration layer through electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding.

To synthesize the monomers, Vasantha's team reacted styrene precursors with positively charged imidazoles before attaching the negatively charged sulfonate functional groups. The monomers produced polymers with intact zwitterionic properties, meaning that they retained their positive and negative charges.

These new imidazole-based polymers exhibited some novel solubility characteristics: unlike their conventional water-soluble counterparts, they swelled in water and dissolved only in highly concentrated brine. These differences stem from dipole-dipole interactions and the more hydrophobic nature of the new polymers compared to acrylamide and methacrylate.

With high tolerances to salt, pH and temperature, these polymers became increasingly viscous when subjected to higher shear forces in brine. This characteristic -- similar to 'silly putty', which is malleable in one's hands but is unchanged when hit with a hammer -- makes the polymers attractive for enhanced oil recovery and marine antifouling coatings.

Another advantage of the new polymers is their reversible phase change: between 5 C and 95 C, the polymers formed gels that become clear fluids when heated above the so-called critical temperature in brine and that revert to their stable cloudy state on cooling.

"This phase transition results from the disruption of the equilibrium between salt, water and zwitterionic species," says Vasantha. The polymer chains expand on heating and collapse below the critical temperature. The researchers can control the critical temperature by simply varying either the brine or polymer concentration. For example, the transition occurred at 20 C at a low polymer concentration but at 40 C at a higher polymer concentration.

"We are currently designing new zwitterionic polymers and copolymers with salt- and heat-responsive behavior for a wide range of applications, such as enhanced oil recovery, low-temperature protein separation and antifouling," says Vasantha.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vivek Arjunan Vasantha, Satyasankar Jana, Anbanandam Parthiban, Julius G. Vancso. Water swelling, brine soluble imidazole based zwitterionic polymers – synthesis and study of reversible UCST behaviour and gel–sol transitions. Chemical Communications, 2014; 50 (1): 46 DOI: 10.1039/C3CC44407D

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730104036.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, July 30). Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730104036.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Heat-responsive polymers that do not breakdown in water may lead to new antifouling coatings and enhanced oil recovery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730104036.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins