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Reviews in Chemical Engineering

Editor-in-Chief: Luss, Dan / Brauner, Neima

Editorial Board: Agar, David / Davis, Mark E. / Edgar, Thomas F. / Giorno, Lidietta / Joshi, J. B. / Khinast, Johannes / Kost, Joseph / Leal, L. Gary / Li, Jinghai / Mills, Patrick / Morbidelli, Massimo / Ng, Ka Ming / Schouten, Jaap C. / Seinfeld, John / Stitt, E. Hugh / Tronconi, Enrico / Vayenas, Constantinos G. / Zagoruiko, Andrey / Zondervan, Edwin

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 4.200

CiteScore 2018: 4.96

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Volume 31, Issue 3


A survey on cationic polyelectrolytes and their applications: acrylamide derivatives

Ahmad Rabiee
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Polymer Science, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, PO Box 14965-115, Tehran, Iran
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Amir Ershad-Langroudi
  • Faculty of Polymer Processing, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, PO Box 14965-115, Tehran, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mohammad Ebrahim Zeynali
  • Faculty of Petrochemistry, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, PO Box 14965-115, Tehran, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2015-04-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revce-2014-0056


Cationic polyelectrolytes are water-soluble polymers bearing positive ionic groups along the backbone or in side chains. These cationic polymers are synthesized by free radical polymerization of acrylamide and their derivatives by the copolymerization method, which includes solution, precipitation, and emulsion techniques. The Mannich reaction is another important method by which the cationic polymers can be processed. In this review paper, the preparation methods, interaction mechanisms of these polymers, and their popular industrial applications are summarized. These polymers open a lot of applications in different fields such as paper-making processes, water and wastewater treatment, oil and drilling industries, mineral separation, paint and food industries, cosmetics, and pharmacy. In addition, these polymers are widely used as flocculants and rheology control agents. These polymers are especially employed in oil field operations as viscosity control agents for enhanced oil recovery, drilling fluid additives, and also for modifying flow and stability properties of aqueous solutions and gels. They are used as super-plasticizers, which affect the rheological properties of dense cement suspensions. Mining processes also benefit from the use of acrylamide derivative polymers to flocculate solids in aqueous dispersions. The cationic polymers may interact with different components in the system such as inorganic/organic particles in aqueous dispersions in several ways, which may result in the stability or instability of dispersion. The particles can be destabilized through three different main mechanisms which promote flocculation: polymer bridging, charge neutralization, and polymer adsorption.

Keywords: acrylamide derivatives; applications; cationic polymers; charged polymers; polyelectrolyte


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About the article

Ahmad Rabiee

Ahmad Rabiee is an Assistant Professor at the Science Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry from Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran, and Teachers’ Training University, Tehran, Iran, respectively. He received his PhD in Polymer Industry from the Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute. Since then he has been involved in teaching different courses in Iranian universities and editing scientific publication papers. His main research interests are synthesis and characterization of different polyelectrolytes.

Amir Ershad-Langroudi

Amir Ershad-Langroudi is an Associate Professor at the Surface Coatings Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Materials Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran, respectively. He received his PhD in Materials Engineering from INSA de Lyon, Lyon, France. Since then he has been involved in teaching different courses. His main research interests are synthesis and characterization of organic-inorganic hybrid nano-composite coatings.

Mohammad Ebrahim Zeynali

Mohammad Ebrahim Zeynali is an Assistant Professor at the Petrochemical Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. He received his PhD from UNSW (University of New South Wales) in Sydney, Australia. Since then he has lectured advanced engineering mathematics for postgraduate students. His main research interests are polymer and petrochemical preparation, especially heterogeneous catalytic systems, and mathematical modeling of chemical processes.

Corresponding author: Ahmad Rabiee, Faculty of Polymer Science, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, PO Box 14965-115, Tehran, Iran, e-mail:

Received: 2014-11-17

Accepted: 2015-02-10

Published Online: 2015-04-21

Published in Print: 2015-06-01

Citation Information: Reviews in Chemical Engineering, Volume 31, Issue 3, Pages 239–261, ISSN (Online) 2191-0235, ISSN (Print) 0167-8299, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revce-2014-0056.

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