A new terpolymer named β-CD-MA-SSS was produced using free-radical polymerization of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), maleic-anhydride (MA) and sodium-styrene-sulfonate (SSS) as monomers, with potassium persulfate (KPS) as initiator. Its performance as a scale inhibitor to prevent deposition of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) has been investigated. Experimental results demonstrated that β-CD-MA-SSS performed excellent scale inhibition and exhibited a high conversion rate under the following conditions: initiator consisting of 6%, molar ratio of reaction monomers SSS:MA = 0.8:1, MA:β-CD = 6:1, reaction temperature of 80 °C, reaction time of 6 h, and dropping time of 40 min when MA was dosed as a substrate, and SSS and KPS were dosed as dropping reactants simultaneously. Use of a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer for this inhibitor showed that the polymerization reaction had taken place with the reaction monomers under the above specified conditions. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that the β-CD-MA-SSS had a strong chelating ability for calcium (Ca2+) and a good dispersion ability for calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

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