Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/33885
- The effect of molecular weight of nonadsorbing polymer on the structure of depletion-induced flocs
Burns, Janine L.;
Jameson, Graeme J.;
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, School of Engineering
- This work explores the structural compactness of depletion-induced particle flocs with respect to the molecular weight of nonadsorbing polymer flocculants. Small-angle static light scattering was used to monitor the structural characteristics of the flocs, which were formed by the addition of nonadsorbing poly(acrylic acids) to a stable colloidal polystyrene latex dispersion. It was found that the floc mass fractal dimension, considered to be a measure of structural compactness, was dependent upon both the molecular weight and the concentration of the polyacid. In particular, reducing the molecular weight of the polymer at a fixed polyacid concentration resulted in higher mass fractal dimensions, despite the highly polydisperse nature of the polymer samples. This structural behavior was attributed to the lower particle sticking efficiencies upon collision. This reduced sticking ability is the result of the shallowing in the secondary potential energy well with decreasing polymer chain length, which was directly supported by atomic force microscopy data. Our results suggest that the formation of a shallower attraction well with a lower molecular weight nonadsorbing polymer is the result of the insufficiency of the increased osmotic pressure to counter-balance the short-ranged nature of the depletion interaction.
- Journal of Colloid and Interface Science Vol. 247, Issue 1, p. 24-32
- Publisher Link
- Academic Press Inc.
atomic force microscopy;
- Resource Type
- journal article