A Kinetic Study of Acrylamide/ Acrylic Acid Copolymerization
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Homo- and co-polymers of acrylamide (AAm) and acrylic acid (or acrylate salt) (AA) or methacrylic acid (MAA)) are important classes of water-soluble polymers due to their numerous applications in fields such as super absorbents, additives in cosmetics, membrane technology, waste-water treatment and oil field operations. These polymers are generally made by free radical polymerization. For copolymerization reactions it is extremely important to know the details of reaction kinetics in order to ascertain the kinetic effects of different reaction parameters, which ultimately dictate final copolymer composition, microstructure and properties. The reactivity ratios for copolymerization of AAm and AA have been shown to be dependent on pH and they also change with reaction solvent. The present experimental investigation has been performed to study the kinetics of copolymerization of these monomers in aqueous and alcoholic media by considering factors such as type of initiator and solvent, and pH, in order to determine how they affect the reactivity ratios of these monomers. Reactivity ratios were determined by non-linear least squares (NLLS) and the error-in-variables-model (EVM) techniques and full conversion range kinetic investigations were carried out to confirm these values.