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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Thermal response and recyclability of poly(stearylacrylate-co-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) gel as a VOCs absorbent

item Ohta, Masahiko
item Boddu, Veera
item Uchimiya, Sophie
item Sada, Kazuki

Submitted to: Polymer Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2011
Publication Date: 5/29/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Ohta, M., Boddu, V.M., Uchimiya, M., Sada, K. 2011. Thermal response and recyclability of poly(stearylacrylate-co-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) gel as a VOCs absorbent. Polymer Bulletin. 67:915-926.

Interpretive Summary: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) possess high vapor pressures and are known to uniquely affect human health by vapor intrusion and other exposure pathways. The VOCs absorbents can be used as the protective barriers for VOCs point sources at sites contaminated by, for example, accidental petroleum spills. In this study, we developed a recyclable, thermal-sensitive gel as a VOCs absorbent matrix. The developed gel showed high swelling ability and can be applied for a wide range of applications including site and equipment clean-up procedures.

Technical Abstract: The development of absorbent materials for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is in demand for a variety of environmental applications including protective barriers for VOCs point sources. One of the challenges for the currently available VOCs absorbents is their recyclability. In this study, we synthesized poly(stearylacrylate-co-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) (NG-18) gels, and after rigorous characterization, investigated the absorption properties for VOCs. The synthesized gel could be recycled by immersing in ether and other chlorinated, aromatic, and aliphatic solvents and by cooling them at 0 °C. These recycling processes resulted in approximately 25 per cent weight loss compared to the fully swollen state, due to the crystallization of long-alkyl chain component of the gel. This property shows the possibility of recycling absorbed solvents easily and its usefulness as VOCs absorbent material.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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