Synthesis, Characterization, and Rheological Studies of Model Water-Soluble Graft Copolymers for Application In Enhanced Oil Recovery


Lee Soon Park

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Charles L. McCormick

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


Model water-soluble graft copolymers have been synthesized with acrylamide as the major grafting monomer and dextran as the substrate in order to define more clearly the structural parameters that are important in enhanced oil recovery applications. The structures of the model graft copolymer samples were studied by aqueous size exclusion chromatography, viscometry, elemental analysis, and selective hydrolysis of the graft copolymer backbone. The grafting systems with selected grafting monomers included Fe(II)/H(,2)O(,2) with acrylamide, and Ce(IV)/HNO(,3) with acrylamide, acrylamide/2-acrylamido-2-methyl propane sulfonic acid (AMPS), or acrylamide/diacetone acrylamide (DAM). In each system, the optimum reaction conditions which yielded graft copolymers with highest hydrodynamic dimensions and least amount of homopolymer formation could be derived from analysis of size exclusion chromatograms, conversion data, and graft copolymer to homopolymer product ratios. The viscosity and pseudoplasticity of the resulting graft copolymers were affected by both total molecular weight and length of grafted chains; however, the latter was apparently more important when behavior was compared to linear counterparts. It was also found that sulfonate-containing model graft copolymers exhibit much better salt tolerance than carboxylate-containing polymers.