An automated method for the determination of acrylamide polymers by flow injection analysis (FIA) has been developed and optimized for routine use. The method has been extensively tested for interferences common in oilfield brines. Potential interferences were examined from Na+, Ca2+, Cr3*, Al3+, Zr3*, NH4+, Cl-, OH-, CO32-, sample coloration, and commonly used surfactants. The analysis is specific for amides, and the sensitivity to concentration of amide groups in the polymer was shown to be constant as the degree of polymer hydrolysis was varied. The range of the method is 0.1 to 100 mg/L. Sample throughput is 30 samples/h with triplicate analysis. Relative standard deviations of 0.2% are readily obtained from standard solutions and 0.5% from complex samples (at 50 mg/L). The method is applicable to the determination of aqueous, acrylamide-based polymers in process streams, surface waters and oilfield brines.

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