Composite Polymer-Clay Hydrogels Based on Bentonite Clay and Acrylates: Synthesis, Characterization and Swelling Capacity
Clay minerals, especially montmorillonite, as well as bentonite minerals with a high content of montmorillonite, have the highest ability to adsorb various organic compounds. In the East Kazakhstan region, the Manyrak deposit has huge deposits of “pink” bentonite clay (BC) with 70% of montmorillonite, extensively studied back in the 70-80-s. Now it is successfully useful in the organo-polymer composition as a mineral filler of polymer composite materials (PCM) and finds the application as domestic sorbents for the group extraction of non-ferrous ions in the purification of industrial sewage and drinking water. This article presents the results of research of creating polymer-clay composite materials based on domestic bentonite clay with improved sorption characteristics. The polymeric matrix of the composites consists of acrylates ‒ polyacrylic and polymethacrylic acids (PAA and PMAA). BC-PAA and BC-PMAA gels were obtained by radical polymerization “in situ” using the intercalation method (and without it). Preliminary intercalation forms more homogeneous and interconnected composite gels. An increase in the content of the clay component and the cross-linking agent in the starting mixture results in a higher cross-linking rate and compaction of the composite gels. The behavior of the swelling of gels under the influence of temperature, pH, ionic strength indicates their polyelectrolyte character with dominant hydrogen bonds and partial hydrophobic interactions (the latter is improved in the case of BC-PMAA). The preparation of composite gels based on local BC and PAA and PMAA expands the range of composite materials and can be used as sorbents for wastewater treatment.
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