Publication Detail

Solubilization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Poly(ethylene oxide-propylene oxide) Block Copolymer Micelles: Effects of Polymer Structure

Patricia N. Hurter, T. Alan Hatton
9 pp.
MITSG 93-03J

The unusually high capcity of block copolymer micelles for hydrophobic solutes can be exploited in the development of novel, effective ways to remove trace contaminants such s polycyclic aromtic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from aqueous waste streams and contaminated sources. The partitioning behavior of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons between water and micelles formed by poly(ethylene oxide-propylene oxide) block copolymers of varying structure and composition is reported here. The micelle-water partition coefficient increased with increasing polypropylene oxide content of the polymer and with molecular weight. The core of the micelle constitutes a hydrophobic environment, which is extremely attractive to nonpolar solutes. Once the micelles are laden with solute, they can be processed to regenerate the 'solvent phase' (i.e., the block copolymer micellar solution) by removing the toxic compounds.

type: Technical reports

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