Advanced Turbulent Drag Reducing and Flocculating Materials Based on Polysaccharides

  • Ram Prakash Singh


Synthetic Polyacrylamide based polymers and polysaccharides such as guar gum, xanthan gum carboxymethylcellulose and starch have been used for long. The Polyacrylamides are easily amenable to shear degradation although they are very efficient drag reducing and flocculating agents even at low ppm concentrations. On the other hand polysaccharides are fairly shear stable but are not very efficient drag reducers and flocculants. Their aqueous solution are also subjected to rapid biodegradation. It was contemplated that in the case where Polyacrylamide chains are grafted on polysaccharide backbones, efficient shear and biodegradation drag reducing and flocculating agents may be developed.

In the author’s laboratory, detailed investigation on synthesis and characterisation of graft copolymers of polysaccharides and Polyacrylamide was undertaken. It has been convincingly shown that these graft copolymers offer efficient, shear and biodegradation resistant drag reducing and flocculating systems. The laboratory scale synthesis has also been scaled up to batch reactor level.

The present paper outlines the details of synthesis and characterisation, structure-property relationship in regards to drag reduction, flocculation, shear stability and biodegradation resistance as well as the applications of these graft copolymers in systems of industrial importance. The graft copolymers are found to be highly solvated. The shear stability is correlated with the solvation number of graft copolymers. This indicates their applicability as super-absorbent materials. They can also be blended with polyolefines in order to develop biodegradable films. The various characteristics of these systems have been discussed in terms of current molecular theories of drag reduction and flocculation. The paper also covers some salient features of author’s work on application of drag reducing polymers in reducing the energy requirement of the sprinkler irrigation and reduction of percolation losses of soil as well as development of slow release urea based on blending with polysaccharides.


Drag Reduction Graft Copolymer Sprinkler Irrigation Shear Stability Turbulent Drag 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Prakash Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Science CentreIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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