Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Synthesis of Ph-sensitive Surfactants by the Terpolymerization of Methacrylic Acid, Methoxy Poly (Ethylene Glycol) Methacrylate, and Lauryl Methacrylate: Initiator Effect and Reactivity Ratio Study

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Publication Date

Fall 2004


For the development of pH-sensitive surfactants to be used in water-in-oil fermentation, the free-radical terpolymerization of methacrylic acid (MAA), methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (MPEGMA), and lauryl methacrylate (LMA), at a molar ratio of 1.0:0.04:0.76, was studied with two initiators, azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) and hydrogen peroxide, at different concentrations. The polymer synthesized with 0.45% AIBN as the initiator was the most promising, giving similar conversions of all three monomers throughout the 10-h polymerization. The subsequent study on AIBN-initiated systems indicated that MPEGMA caused an increase-then-decrease profile of the MAA conversion with a plateau around an ethylene glycol/MAA ratio of 1–2. This observation was fairly consistent with the well-known type II template polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)–MAA systems. The reactivity ratios obtained in this study suggested that the polymer synthesized with AIBN as the initiator had a structure of alternating blocks of MAA and LMA, with isolated PEG grafts. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 42: 2950–2959, 2004





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