Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2009, Vol. 82, No. 8, pp. 1456−1460.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Original Russian Text
N.S. Il’icheva, N.K. Kitaeva, V.R. Duﬂ ot, 2009, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2009, Vol. 82, No. 8, pp. 1356−1360.
AND POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Graft Polymerization of Acrylic Acid
onto Powdered Polyethylene
N. S. Il’icheva, N. K. Kitaeva, and V. R. Duﬂ ot
Obninsk Branch, Karpov Research Physicochemical Institute, Federal State Unitary Enterprise,
Obninsk, Kaluga oblast, Russia
Received February 19, 2009
Abstract—Radiation-induced graft polymerization of acrylic acid onto powdered polyethylene samples of
various granulometric compositions was studied. The resulting graft polymer can be used as a cation-exchange
sorbent. The ion adsorption properties of the synthesized cation exchanger were characterized.
Radiation-induced graft copolymerization is a widely
used method for purposeful modiﬁ cation of materials
(primarily polymers). Several processes based on
radiation grafting, implemented on the semicommercial
and even commercial scales, have been described [1, 2].
Among them are radiation procedure for textile ﬁ nishing,
synthesis of ion-exchange membranes, and preparation
of polyethylene ﬁ lms with grafted polyacrylic acid. Graft
copolymerization shows much promise in production
of biocompatible materials and enzyme immobilization
[3, 4]. Radiation-induced graft polymerization is widely
used for preparing various sorbents, e.g., by introducing
ionogenic groups .
The advantages of radiation-induced graft polymeriza-
tion are versatility (it is possible to modify polymeric
materials of any nature, size, and shape, e.g., ﬁ lms, ﬁ bers,
or powders), possibility of modiﬁ cation to any preset
depth by varying the ionization energy, and modiﬁ cation
in a wide temperature range, including low temperatures
at which substance initiators do not operate.
This study concerns modification of powdered
polyethylene (PE) with polyacrylic acid (PAA) by graft
polymerization and determination of the ion-adsorption
characteristics of the resulting cation exchangers.
We used HDPE powder of grade 273-00. The PE
powder was fractionated by sieving.
To create centers of graft polymerization initiation,
PE powder samples were exposed to
Со γ-ray radiation
at room temperature at a dose rate of up to 0.7 Gy
to absorbed doses of 50, 100, and 150 kGy. The gel
fraction content g (%) in the irradiated PE samples was
determined by exhaustive extraction with toluene in
a Soxhlet apparatus. The concentration of peroxides in
the irradiated PE powder was determined by iodometric
titration  in benzene (total content of peroxy groups
in PE) and alcohol (content of peroxy groups on the PE
Graft polymerization of acrylic acid (AA), which was
not specially puriﬁ ed, was performed in a glass vessel in
an inert gas (nitrogen) atmosphere in the presence of Fe(II)
ions at 85 ± 1°С. The degree of grafting was determined
gravimetrically as the weight ratio of the grafted PAA to
the initial PEE (%). The concentration of Fe ions in the
solution was determined spectrophotometrically using
complexation with sulfosalicylic acid .
Sorption of metal ions was studied in the static
mode by the limited volume method . The adsorbate
ion concentration in the solution was determined
spectrophotometrically [Cu(II) and Mn(II) ions] and
by titration (sodium and ammonium ions). The optical
density of solutions was measured with a KFK-3-01
concentration photoelectrocolorimeter in 1.0-cm-thick
Effect of γ-irradiation on characteristics of PE
powder. The effect of ionizing radiation on PE mainly