Viscosity is sensitive to microstructural changes and can be used to monitor kinetic processes such as polymer degradation. To illustrate this application, we focus on the thermal degradation of a polysaccharide in acidic solutions. Polysaccharides are commonly used as rheology modifiers in the food, medical, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical industries. Guar gum is a polysaccharide that can experience thermal degradation under acidic conditions, affecting its thickening and stabilizing properties, as well as reducing its molecular weight and contribution to viscosity. The degradation process occurs over multiple hours and can be monitored by probing the corresponding decrease in viscosity, as well as molecular weight.
Download our FREE webinar recording showing how we use the RheoSense VROC® initium one plus to quantify the thermal degradation of acidic guar gum solutions over extended periods of time via viscosity measurements and molecular weight estimations using single point intrinsic viscosity analysis. We demonstrate the ability of the automated high-throughput viscometer to probe the thermal degradation of polysaccharide solutions, which has implications in applications involving acidic and elevated temperature conditions.
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