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What is polycarboxylate ether PCE powder?

Since 2022, Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflicts have intensified, and global energy prices have risen sharply, with international natural gas prices hitting historic highs. As the most important transitional energy source in the transition from fossil energy to non-fossil energy, the share of natural gas in primary energy has increased from 14.6% in 1965 to 24.7% in 2020.  The global gas price indices showed a unilateral downward trend from 2018, bottomed out in 2020, and remained low for a long time. However, since July 2020, the global gas prices have gradually fluctuated upward, and the impact of geopolitical events made the Dutch TTF gas price even hit record highs repeatedly.

An analyst of a securities company believes that the core catalyst of this round of global gas market lies in the lack of investment in upstream oil and gas resources caused by long-term low prices. Since 2020, although the epidemic has led to a decline in demand, the decline in supply has been faster, resulting in a large inventory consumption. In 2021, demand will recover faster than supply (the supply-side is less sensitive to prices, which will be reflected in investment).  

As the world's two largest gas polycarboxylate ether,PCE powder are also expected to change significantly.

Chemical admixtures are in high demand in concrete technology to improve their properties such as durability, fluidity, setting and mechanical properties. Among these chemical admixtures,superplasticizers are mainly used to improve fluidity at relatively low water-cement ratios (W/C). First-generation superplasticizers (SP) such as sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde condensate (SNF) and sulfamic acid formaldehyde condensate (ASF) can disperse cement particles through an electrostatic repulsion mechanism. A new generation of SP is based on polycarboxylate ether comb copolymers with carboxyl groups and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) side chains. PCE copolymers can generate electrostatic repulsion and steric hindrance, therefore, they provide better performance than the older generation. The molecular weight and side chain length of PCE can be easily tailored to make it superior to other kinds of SP.

 

Free radical polymerization (FRP) is widely used to prepare PCE copolymers, but has less control over molecular weight and molecular weight distribution (even with chain transfer agents to control the polydispersity index D = Mw/Mn values are usually higher than 1.5 molar mass) , producing polymer chains with broad molar mass distributions and potential variations in chemical composition Monomers with different reactivity. Over the past two decades, the controlled radical polymerization technique has been developed as a general method that provides free radical synthesis of polymers with predetermined molecular weights and narrow molar mass dispersion. Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization is a controlled/living radical polymerization technique that is compatible with a wide variety of monomers. Only very few studies have used RAFT polymerization to prepare PCE superplasticizers, focusing on block copolymers ignoring their potential applications in PCE random copolymers.

 

To gain an accurate understanding of the effects of side chain length and charge properties on PCE adsorption behavior, we employed RAFT polymerization in this work to obtain well-defined copolymers with different side chains and functions, enabling a more systematic assessment of the structural parameters of PCE. Performance. This is the first study to report the use of well-defined copolymers (D < 1.3) to compare the effects of side chain length and charge type of PCE on the dispersibility of cement pastes. In this study, two copolymers containing COO - or SO 3 - as charge types (PCE and PSE, respectively) were synthesized to investigate the effect of specific functional negatively charged groups on the adsorption and rheological properties of cement pastes. influences. On the other hand, in the case of PCE copolymers, three different PEO side chain lengths were employed to study their effect on cement fluidity. Adsorption studies, zeta potential measurements, mobility and rheological properties are also explored in this work.



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Gas prices in European countries are expected to triple if Russian supplies are restricted, according to a press release from Rystad Energy, a Norwegian Energy consultancy.  

The price of natural gas in Europe was $1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters on Tuesday. The benchmark price is already 300 percent higher than a year ago. European gas prices are expected to continue to soar to $3,500 per 1,000 cubic meters if Russian supplies are restricted, according to Analysis by Monitor.

In 2021, Russia delivered 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, accounting for 31 percent of its gas supply, according to an analysis by Monitor Advisors. It would be difficult for Europe to replace Russian gas, which would also destabilize the global LNG market and have a profound impact on Europe's population and economy.

The analysis also said that if Russia stopped supplies now, Europe's current gas reserves would be exhausted by the end of the year, setting in for a cold winter.

In addition, affected by the geopolitical factors, the supply of the polycarboxylate ether,PCE powder is erratic and thus its prices are expected to go higher in the future.

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