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Floculation - Formation et structure des agrégats entre les chaînes de polyélectrolytes et colloïdes argileux

Abstract : Flocculation is a key process in numerous environmental and industrial technologies such as purification of waste-water or paper making. It is necessary to understand the formation and structure of the aggregates to control and optimize such a process. Most of the studies on flocculation involve spherical particles, but there is a clear need to understand the flocculation of anisotropic particles such as clay colloids, which are platelets. I studied the flocculation of montmorillonite clay suspensions in water by well-defined cationic polyelectrolytes called ionenes. By using this model system, it is possible to study the effect of relative charge densities and sizes of ionene chains and clay platelets, on the mode of flocculation and their arrangement inside the aggregates formed. Initially, I studied the effect of charge density of polyelectrolytes on the flocculation efficiency of clay platelets, by combining measurements of turbidity and zeta potential. While the aggregates are always ionene-deficient, the charge density of ionenes leads to variations in the mode of flocculation and in the optimum flocculation conditions. The conformation of the ionene chains inside the aggregates depends on the charge density of ionenes and this is why I continued the study by small-angle scattering experiments in order to correlate the conformation of the chains with the structure of aggregates on different spatial scales. Small-angle X-ray scattering showed the presence of platelet stacks in a face-face configuration, demonstrating itself as a clear stacking peak in the scattering spectra. Further, this technique allowed to highlight the effect of the charge density on the interlamellar spacing inside these stacks. For the most weakly charged ionenes, loops of the ionene chains between the faces of adjacent platelets induce a higher interlamellar spacing inside the stacks. The differences of conformation of ionenes are confirmed by small-angle neutron scattering. This technique, under the condition of contrast matching, allows to probe only ionene chains within the aggegates aggregates. On a larger spatial scale, I have observed that by matching closely the charge density on ionene chains and on clay platelets the most compact aggregates are produced. I have also studied the behaviour of the different ionenes in aqueous solution in absence of clay particles by small-angle neutron scattering and NMR. At high chain concentrations, these systems clearly show differences in inter-chain interactions, depending on the nature of their counterions. The evolution of these interactions follows closely the Hofmeister series.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 1:49:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:42:56 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-01758928, version 2

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Yasine Sakhawoth. Floculation - Formation et structure des agrégats entre les chaînes de polyélectrolytes et colloïdes argileux. Chimie-Physique [physics.chem-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066195⟩. ⟨tel-01758928v2⟩

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