Water-soluble polymers crosslinked with metal ions form stable gels that are used in oil and gas production processes. We present an investigation of the chemistry of the binding between guar galactomannans and both borates and titanates using NMR and dynamic light scattering. The two monosaccharides comprising guar - methyl-β-D-galactopyranoside and methyl-α-D-mannopyranoside - have been studied as model compounds. High resolution13C NMR detected complexation of the sugars with borate but displayed no sign of complexation with either of the two titanates even at high titanate concentrations. Dynamic light scattering studies demonstrated the existence of colloidal titanium dioxide particles for both titanate crosslinkers. The loss of free titanium to the colloidal particles reduces the concentration of titanium crosslinking sites to below the detectable limits of NMR. The role of colloidal titanium dioxide colloids in these crosslinking reactions has not been reported previously. Data are presented following the growth of these particles with time as a function of pH and salt concentration. The observed particle growth kinetics explains the observed sensitivity of the guar gelation process to these variables.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry
- dynamic light scattering
- nuclear magnetic resonance