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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Polyelectrolytes are polymers whose repeating units bear an electrolyte group. These groups will dissociate in aqueous solutions (water), making the polymers charged. Polyelectrolyte properties are thus similar to both electrolytes (salts) and polymers (high molecular weight compounds), and are sometimes called polysalts.
  • Like salts, their solutions are electrically conductive. Like polymers, their solutions are often viscous. Many biological molecules are polyelectrolytes. For instance, polypeptides (thus all proteins) and DNA are polyelectrolytes. Both natural and synthetic polyelectrolytes are used in a variety of industries. Orflock polyelectrolyte coagulants are available in various compositions, degree of polymerization, viscosity, etc.

Processing Technology

  • Multilayer thin films prepared from weak polyelectrolytes can exhibit a rich suite of anomalous physicochemical properties. One of the major factors that influence the properties of such films is the acid/base chemistry of the weak functional groups of the polyelectrolytes. The success of the multilayer growth is achieved only when the addition of a new layer results in charge over-compensation on the film surface.
  • Strongly charged polyacrylate hydrogels, however, display a qualitatively different scattering response. Under an acidic condition, a protein may become a cationic polyelectrolyte so that the formation of ionic bonds between gelatin and - carrageenan would be possible because -carrageenan is an anionic polyelectrolyte.

Applications

  • AEROGELS of clays can be prepared by freeze-drying of clay water gels. The mechanical strength of the aerogels is improved by the addition of water-soluble polyelectrolytes to the hydrogels. Because of the toughness of the clay-polyelectrolyte aerogels, they can be rolled out to thin sheets which may be applied as chromatographic papers.
  • DNA is a highly negatively charged polyelectrolyte both in double-stranded (“native”) and in single-stranded (“denatured”) forms and displays considerable sensitivity to ionic surroundings during various structural transitions and in interactions with charged species. Comparisons of polyelectrolyte theories with experimental data on polynucleotide double helix–single strand thermal transitions have been reported for quantitative theoretical analysis of NaDNA melting in NaCl solutions

Market

  • Biodegradable polymer market in the US has witnessed a series of consolidations over the past 10 years. The early industry participants were unsuccessful due to costly manufacturing technologies and absence of enough legislation to fuel the market. This led to a standstill in the market evolution of biodegradable polymers.
  • The U.S. biodegradable polymer market revenues were estimated at $27.0 million, corresponding to 22.9 million pounds of unit shipment. The U.S. biodegradable polymer market revenue is forecast to grow to $67.8 million in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent. Market Innovation by major corporations will boost the sales of biodegradable polymers. Enhancing the functional properties of biodegradable polymers and cost competitiveness of the resin will give it a significant thrust in the right direction.

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