Research Institute of Petroleum Industry

Synthesis of Acrylamide polymers

Acrylamide polymers are synthetic water soluble polymers with wide industrial applications including their use in oil field industries. They are commercially available in wide varieties of molecular weights ( over 107 g/mol) and in non-ionic (acrylamide homopolymer), cationic and anionic forms (acrylamide copolymers). The general structure of acrylamide polymers is:


where R is a non-ionic amide group (-CONR2, R: H, Alkyl or Aryl) or contains anionic (carboxylate, sulfonate) or cationic (quaternary ammonium) groups.

Acrylamide polymers are produced in homogenous and heterogeneous (W/O emulsion) media and are available in granular or liquid (Solution or emulsion) forms. Ionic characteristics of the copolymers make them suitable materials for various applications. Depending on their structur and molecular weight characteristics, these polymers are suitable materials for various applications in oil field industries respect to their. Acrylamide polymers have been used in oil fields as:

-         Rheological  and filtrate-loss control agents in water base drilling fluids

-         Colloid flocculant and shale stabilizer

-         Fluid loss control agents for cementing oil wells

-         Friction reducer in hydraulic fracturing

-         Agents for improving mobility control in enhanced oil recovery

-         Drag reducers in secondary recovery operations

-         Flocculating agents for mineral suspended solids

Poly acrylamide and some acrylamide copolymers with various structures and molecular weights( up to 8Ï106 g/mol) have been successfully synthesized in the Polymer Science and Technology Division, RIPI. The current  focus is on improving the fluid mobility control of the products to reach the specifications of SNF products (FLOPAAM S and FLOPAAM AN)

Sulfonated polyacrylamide characteristics

Intrinsic Viscosity( [η])



Chemical   name


467 cm3/g


emulsion , powder


Poly(acrylamide – sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonate)






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