Calcium sulfate scale is a typical deposit on the equipment pieces or pipes of an industrial water system. Scale inhibitors could obviously reduce the precipitation of calcium sulfate crystal. The development and research of late-model environmentally friendly polymer inhibitors are often urgent problems to be addressed. A water-soluble poly(ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-diethanolamine) (PEDTA-DEA) was successfully synthesized by thermal polycondensation of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) with diethanolamine (DEA). The polymer product was characterized by Fourier infrared spectrum (FTIR) and the molecular weight was measured by gel chromatography, which confirms the polymerization of the two monomers. The inhibition effect of the polymer against calcium sulfate deposition was studied by static scale inhibition tests. When the Ca2+
concentration is 3000 mg/L, and the dosage of the polymer inhibitor is 10 mg/L, the inhibition effect exceeds 90%. The results show that PEDTA-DEA can inhibit the precipitation of calcium sulfate and reduce the deposition of calcium sulfate scale. The precipitate of calcium sulfate collected from the static scale inhibition test solution was analyzed by FTIR, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results revealed that the addition of the polymer significantly changes the calcium sulfate crystal’s growth shape. Therefore, PEDTA-DEA is a potential calcium sulfate precipitation inhibitor for the industrial water system.
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