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Ever-increasing requirements for performance improvements in clarification, thickening and dewatering of municipal and industrial sludges, place more emphasis on the chemical enhancement of liquids–solids separation. This enhancement is commonly gained by using a polyacrylamide flocculant, also referred to as “polymer”. Market trends in polymer sales seem to indicate the demand for higher molecular weight polymer products is following the growing restraints on wastewater treatment operations.

There are multiple limiting factors in the production of high molecular weight polymer products; however, the most common is directly related to the quality of the acrylamide used for polymerization. The traditional method of manufacturing acrylamide has always limited the achievable molecular weight and increased the polydispersity of polymers due to the use of high temperature and copper catalyst. SNF Floerger (SNF), under license of Mitsubishi Rayon, has not only developed a method to increase the molecular weight of polymer products by utilizing a unique method of producing acrylamide, but in the process has commercialized the first enzymatically produced acrylamide, a more beneficial product, safer to produce.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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