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Swelling of N-vinylcaprolactam–dodecyl methacrylate gel in {heptane + toluene} mixtures

Lutfullah M. Sevgili, Serdar Toprak, and Selva Çavuş

Department of Chemical Engineering, Istanbul University, Avcilar, 34320 Istanbul, Turkey



Abstract: A copolymer gel has been synthesized from N-vinylcaprolactam and dodecyl methacrylate in ethanol using the free radical cross-linking polymerization method. Characterizations of the gel were performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) techniques. Swelling behavior of the gel was investigated in heptane, toluene, and their binary mixtures with different compositions. Swelling value in toluene is higher than that in heptane and swelling value increases with the increasing initial content of toluene in the binary mixture with heptane. The swelling values are correlated by the first- and second-order differential equations, and the best model correlating the experimental results is a second-order one. Diffusion coefficients have also been calculated for heptane and toluene at each concentration by power-law and first-order equations. While the diffusion mechanism of the gel in heptane is a Fickian one, the gel swelled in toluene exhibits a non-Fickian character. Diffusion mechanisms of the gels in binary mixtures are much more complicated. Because of the higher swelling degree in toluene compared to that in heptane, selectivity of the gel in different {heptane + toluene} mixtures with selectivity close to 1 has also been taken into consideration.

Keywords: N-vinylcaprolactam – dodecyl methacrylate – heptane – toluene – swelling kinetics – diffusion

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0073


Chemical Papers 69 (5) 668–678 (2015)

Friday, June 05, 2020

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