High performance gel permeation chromatography in combination with high temperature antiscalant testing has been used to establish structure/performance relationships for barium sulfate and strontium sulfate scale-control additives. Test results indicate that the best performing antiscalants share two important characteristics: (1) a high anionic charge density due to the presence of repeating succinic acid units in the polymer, and (2) a low weight-average molecular weight (850-2700): Of the 17 antiscalant candidates tested, polymaleic acid, polyitaconic acid, and a maleic acid/acrylic acid copolymer gave the best performance. High performance gel permeation test methodology and high temperature barium and strontium sulfate antiscalant tests are discussed. Structure/performance parallels are drawn between barium and strontium sulfate antiscalants and antiscalants for multi-stage flash evaporators.

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