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Design of polymeric antiscalants based on functional vinyl monomers for (Fe, Mg) silicates
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Silica/silicate scaling is one of a few detrimental problems that cause high economical loss in the geothermal and petroleum fields. The prevention of silica/silicate has been attempted using antiscalants with functional groups, particularly -NH2; however, metal silicates are commonly found in the fields, and the antiscalants developed thus far are not effective against these compounds. In this work, polymeric antiscalants have been developed by merging two or more functional comonomers consisting of various chelating groups for metal cations. Homo- and copolymers of acrylamide (AM), the sodium salt of vinyl sulfonic acid (VSA), and vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA) were synthesized to examine their antiscaling performance against metal silicate scaling. Lab-scale metal silicates were obtained in a pressured autoclave reactor. The antiscalants were tested at various dosages (25, 50, and 100 ppm), and their effects were investigated from the leftover decantates after isolation of the solid precipitates. The polymeric antiscalants were found to be particularly effective against metal silicates and ineffective against simple silica precipitates. Acidic groups may be coordinating the metal cations, which prevents the formation of precipitates. Among these acidic comonomers, VSA-containing polymers, in particular, increased the solubility of metal silicates.