Polyacrylamide (PAM) is a water-soluble polymer made up of acrylamide subunits. It has a unique effect to increase the viscosity of water or promote the flocculation of particles present in water, it can also reduce the frictional resistance between the liquid. There are 3 different types of polyacrylamide, according to their ion characteristics, namely: non-ionic, cationic and anionic polyacrylamides. Non-ionic polyacrylamide is suitable for separating mixed organic and inorganic suspension, where the solution is neutral or acidic. Cationic polyacrylamide is suitable for suspension solutions containing organic substance and has negative charge. Anionic polyacrylamide is suitable for higher density, inorganic suspension substance with positive charge and is neutral or basic, with thick suspension particles of 1mm-10mm.
Polyacrylamide comes in various forms such as granular, liquid oil emulsion, tablet, and block forms. Dry polyacrylamide is easier to store, transport, and meter into head ditches and they also have a longer shelf life than liquid forms. However, liquid forms require less agitation to dissolve.
Polyacrylamides are synthesized by the polymerization of acrylamide (C3H5NO). Acrylamide is usually dissolved in water, and the dissolved monomers (single-unit molecules) are induced to polymerize (link together to form large, multiple-unit molecules) through the action of free-radical initiators.
It is used in the floatation and smelting of zinc, manganese and copper mines, its leachate and slag can be added into PAM to improve the separation efficiency.
It is used in coal mining industry for waste water, coal washing waste water clarifier.
It is used in oil exploration, profile control, plugging agent, drilling fluids, fracturing fluids additives.
Polyacrylamide can be used for paper making industry to improve the dry and wet strength, increase stability of pulp, enhance the staying rate of filling material and speed size filterability in the paper. It is also used to treat wastewater in the paper industry.
It is used as a textile coating slurry sizing to reduce the loom short head and shedding, and enhance the antistatic properties of textiles.
Polyacrylamide is widely used to flocculate or coagulate solids / suspended particles in various types of wastewater, such as municipal sewage, dyeing, leather, industrial wastewaters.
Polyacrylamide is used in irrigation water in agriculture to improve soil texture, sugar refining, where it can be used in beet or cane juice clarification.