chapter  1
28 Pages

INTRODUCTION

Knowledge of thermodynamic data of aqueous polymer solutions is a necessity for industrial and laboratory processes. Furthermore, such data serve as essential tools for understanding the physical behavior of polymer solutions, for studying intermolecular interactions, and for gaining insights into the molecular nature of mixtures. They also provide the necessary basis for any developments of theoretical thermodynamic models. Scientists and engineers in academic and industrial research need such data and will benefit from a careful collection of existing data. However, the database for polymer solutions is still modest in comparison with the enormous amount of data for low-molecular mixtures, and the specialized database for aqueous polymer solutions is even smaller. On the other hand, aqueous polymer solutions are gaining increasing commercial interest because of their unique physical properties, and thermodynamic data are needed for optimizing applications, e.g., separations of complex mixtures of biomolecules, recovery of antibiotics, precipitation and purification of proteins, separation of lignins from cellulose in the paper pulping process, extraction of radioactive metal ions like strontium, cesium, actinides or lanthanides from aqueous systems, formation of membranes, spinning fibers into aqueous media, or thermoseparating polymers.