Design and synthesis of novel di‐ and triblock amphiphilic polyelectrolytes: Improving salt‐induced viscosity reduction of water solutions for potential application in enhanced oil recovery

Nadia Boulif, Khaled O. Sebakhy, Hidde Joosten, Patrizio Raffa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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In the present study, three different block copolymers based on styrene, tert‐butyl methacrylate, and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) were synthesized via sequential atom transfer radical polymerization. The addition of the GMA block was found to be best performed at 60°C. The polymers were then hydrolyzed and neutralized, to afford amphiphilic block copolymers, and the rheological properties of their aqueous solutions were measured, in order to investigate solution properties relevant for enhanced oil recovery, as a function of the polymer structure. It was observed that these polymers behave as thickening agents with shear thinning behavior. As expected, the polymers were sensitive to the presence of salt, as lower viscosities were recorded in saline water. However, the viscosity is less affected by high salinity, when compared to previously studied analogous diblock systems. In the best case, the viscosity only decreased by a factor of 1.8 upon salt addition whereas it decreased by a factor of 10 in previously reported non‐GMA containing polymers. Finally, thermo‐responsive behavior was found for one of the synthesized polymers. In particular, a hydrolyzed triblock poly[styrene‐b‐tert‐butyl methacrylate‐b‐glycidyl methacrylate], which synthesis is reported here for the first time, showed a thermothickening behavior, promising for the intended application in oil recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50366
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number19
Early online date14-Dec-2020
Publication statusPublished - 15-Mar-2021

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