An increasing interest for the treatment of raw and waste water by water soluble polymers has developed during the last decade, in which the main role of the polymer is to induce flocculation (aggregation) of the mineral and organic colloids present. However, this treatment is of poor efficiency regarding the elimination of soluble organic micropollutants. The objective of this project is to derive new hydrophobically modified cationic polyelectrolytes which could fill this gap by combining flocculation of the suspended particles and elimination of the organic micropollutants. These materials will be derivatives of
poly(vinylbenzylchloride) fully quaternized with tertiary amines of various hydrophobicity. Their structure will range from the typical polyelectrolyte containing only hydrophilic units, to the polysurfactant (in which the repeating unit is surfactant-like). Their properties in dilute and semidilute aqueous solution will be studied and correlated to their hydrophobicity. Special attention will be paid to the relation between polymer chain conformation and solubilization capacity towards organic micropollutants. In a final step their simultaneous efficiency towards silica flocculation and organic micropollutant extraction will be tested.