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Fundamental Study on Polymer Flocculation Behavior in Saline Solutions Open Access


Other title
Polymer flocculant
Solution salinity
Surface interaction and adsorption
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wang, Shanshan
Supervisor and department
Zeng, Hongbo (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Liu, Qingxia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Liu, Qingxia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Liu, Jinfeng (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Nazemifard, Neda (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
In this work, the influence of solution salinity on settling performance of both commercial polymeric flocculant Magnafloc 1011(MF) and synthesized polymer flocculant Chitosan-graft-Polyacrylamide (chi-g-PAM) was systematically investigated. The effect of MgCl2 on the settling performance of MF was carried out on a model clay (i.e. kaolinite). High concentration of Mg2+ was found to increase the initial settling rate (ISR) and decrease the supernatant turbidity. Surface forces apparatus (SFA) and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) were applied to investigate the molecular and surface interactions of kaolinite particles and polymer, which suggested that the better settling behaviors in MgCl2 solutions as compared to that in Milli-Q water was mainly due to the different polymer-particle interactions and polymer conformations. Chitosan-grafted-Polyacrylamide (chi-g-PAM) was successfully synthesized and characterized. For the flocculation of chi-g-PAM on kaolinite suspensions, high concentrations of NaCl and CaCl2 reduce the ISR but lead to clear supernatant as compared to that in Milli-Q water. The complementary measurements by zeta potential analyzer, QCM-D, SFA and atomic force microscopy (AFM) demonstrate that high solution salinity conditions can affect the surface charge property of kaolinite particles and polymer configuration, therefore weaken the polymer-particle interaction and polymer adsorption, resulting in poor chi-g-PAM flocculation performance.
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