Preparing Emulsion Polymers: What You Need to Know!

Emulsion polymers are comprised of a hydrogel suspension and are dispersed in a hydrocarbon (oil) and stabilized with surfactants to prevent agglomeration.

There are two phases in preparing emulsion polymers:
Inversion – Surfactants used to emulsify the oil barrier
Dissolution – Water contact with the gel capsules/beads
The process used to achieve these steps is quite simple; you must incorporate a high amount of shear where the polymer and water interface.

Do not be fooled by gimmicks or outlandish claims by equipment suppliers – simple easy to clean high shear devices are all you require to produce a high yield polymer solution suitable for Water & Waste Water, Mining, P&P and many other industrial applications.

Basic considerations used in polymer preparation:

  • Very High Shear at contact point of polymer and water
  • High initial concentration of polymer (increase surfactant @ point of contact)
  • Soft water reduces the amount of aging time
  • Water temperature below 30° C recommended
  • Provide Flooded Suction


Education and Resources: Polymer and Plastics