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Schwarz, S. ; Ponce-Vargas, S. M. ; Licea-Claverie, A. ; Steinbach, C.
Chitosan and mixtures with aqueous biocompatible temperature sensitive polymer as flocculants

A novel strategy for faster and better flocculation in solid–liquid separation processes is reported: the use of a natural polyelectrolyte (chitosan) in combination with a biocompatible thermosensitive polymer [poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL)].
Clay dispersions were used as model and evaluated by means of analytical centrifuge, laser diffraction, streaming potential and turbidimetry studies.
Results show that at 45 °C the density of the sediment is up to 15% higher, as compared to the use of chitosan only. This results from the temperature sensitive behaviour of PNVCL that phase separate expelling water at temperatures higher than it's LCST (32–34 °C).
By using this strategy the sediment is more compact, contains less water, and contains a very small amount of biodegradable chitosan and biocompatible PNVCL.

Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 413, 7-12


May 2012