Use of a hydrophobic associative four-armed star anionic polymer to create a saline aqueous solution of CO2-switchability

A four-armed anionic star-shaped block polymer, containing an anionic polymer poly(2-Acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid) (PAMPS) as the core group and poly(2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDM) as the terminal group, was synthesized by using the Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) method. The (PAMPS50-PDM50)4 aqueous solution exhibited both polyelectrolyte and hydrophobic associative characteristics, that is, a low concentration of NaCl results in decreasing viscosity but a high concentration of NaCl results in increasing viscosity. The four-armed anionic block polymer shows a CO2-reversible property at high concentrations of brine. Viscosity, pH, and ζ potential demonstrate the switchability jointly; the values could be switched from relatively low to high cyclically. These transitions could actually be attributed to the protonation of tertiary amine groups in PDM blocks, and the mechanism was proved by 1H NMR.