Title: Proper Use of Fluorescent Tagged Polymers - Do's and Don'ts
The objective of this paper is to provide guidance for the proper use of fluorescent tagged polymers in cooling water applications.
- Introduction/Overview of Tagged Polymers and Fluoresence
- Review of Extensive Pilot Testing of Tagged Polymers and PTSA
- Suggested Do's and Don'ts for Using Tagged Polymer Technologies (limitations of use)
Michael Standish will present all topics.
Monitoring of chemical feed accuracy and product efficacy has been needed since the inception of industrial water treatment. Over the course of history, many techniques have been employed. For chemical feed rate testing, color (how orange is my chromate treated water), added metal concentration (how much lithium or molybdenum am I measuring), and more recently fluorescent dye concentration (how much PTSA am I measuring) have all been employed successfully. In the case of product efficacy evaluation, performance-based monitoring has been the primary tool to distinguish between success and failure. Performance based testing can range from measurement of physical parameters such as approach temperature, temperature deltas, flow rates, pressure differentials and even visual inspection to chemical parameters such as delta phosphate, mass balance calculations, turbidity measurements and many other factors. It has long been the desire of the industry to be able to accurately measure actual individual chemical levels in circulating waters as a proxy for real time assessment of performance for mineral scale and corrosion control. Such measurement of scale and corrosion inhibitors can be achieved with existing techniques but with varying success. For instance, phosphate and polyphosphate mild steel inhibitors can be readily and accurately measured with simple colorimetric methods. On the other hand, measurement of phosphonates or polymers require cumbersome techniques that yield limited accuracy. One method that can overcome these limitations is the use of fluorescent tags which are covalently bound to the scale or corrosion inhibitor molecule. This allows measurement of the molecule in situ based upon the fluorescent characteristics of the tag. Polymers copolymerized with fluorescent monomers have been in use in the water treatment industry for over 20 years. However, these polymers have not been available to the broad market until recently. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of tagged polymers and fluorescence technology, review extensive pilot cooling testing to demonstrate limits of functionality, and provide practical use guidance for where the technology should be and should not be relied upon.
Michael Standish is founder of Radical Polymers, LLC, a business designed to specifically develop and provide technologies to the independent water treatment community. Mike has over 35 years’ experience in water treatment additive design, development and evaluation. Prior to forming Radical Polymers, Mike served as Senior Business Manager for International Specialty Products and Global Business Manager for National Starch's Alco Chemical business. Mike has served on the Board of Directors of AWT and holds a BS in Chemistry and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.