Profile of Polyquaternium-7

Apr 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Michael J. Fevola, PhD, Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide
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Title: Profile of Polyquaternium-7
polyquaternium-7x DADMACx conditioning polymerx AM Monomerx film-formerx hair fixativex
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Keywords: polyquaternium-7 | DADMAC | conditioning polymer | AM Monomer | film-former | hair fixative

Abstract: Last month’s “Ingredient Profile” column reviewed polyquaternium-6 (PQ-6), the cationic homopolymer of diallyldimethylammonium chloride (DADMAC). In relation, this month’s column examines its cousin, polyquaternium-7 (PQ-7), one of the most widely used and cost-effective conditioning polymers for personal care applications.

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M Fevola, Profile of Polyquaternium-7, Cosm & Toil 126(4)246 (2011)

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Last month’s “Ingredient Profile” column reviewed polyquaternium-6 (PQ-6), the cationic homopolymer of diallyldimethylammonium chloride (DADMAC). In relation, this month’s column examines its cousin, polyquaternium-7 (PQ-7), one of the most widely used and cost-effective conditioning polymers for personal care applications.

Chemistry and Manufacture

PQ-7 is the polymeric quaternary ammonium salt derived from the copolymerization of acrylamide (AM) and DADMAC monomers.1 The level of cationic DADMAC monomer incorporated into PQ-7 type copolymers may vary quite dramatically, from 5–80 mol%.2 Personal care grades of PQ-7 are reported to contain from 25–50 mol% DADMAC and a balance of 50–75 mol% AM, and may exhibit molecular weight (MW) values ranging from 1.0 × 105 g/mol to 3.0 × 106 g/mol.3–5 Like PQ-6, PQ-7 is also a strong polyelectrolyte, yet its charge density is significantly lower than that of PQ-6 due to the incorporation of nonionic, hydrophilic AM repeat units in the polymer chain (see Figure 1).

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Figure 1. Chemical structure of PQ-7

Chemical structure of PQ-7

Like PQ-6, PQ-7 is also a strong polyelectrolyte, yet its charge density is significantly lower than that of PQ-6 due to the incorporation of nonionic, hydrophilic AM repeat units in the polymer chain (see Figure 1).

Figure 2. AM monomer synthesis

AM monomer synthesis

Figure 2 shows the commercial synthesis route for producing AM, which involves the ammoxidation of propylene to produce acrylonitrile, followed by the catalytic hydration of the acrylonitrile to AM.

Figure 3. Semi-batch copolymerization process to product PQ-7

Semi-batch copolymerization process to product PQ-7

When two ethylenically unsaturated monomers, M1 and M2, are reacted together via free radical addition copolymerization, the composition of the resulting copolymer will be governed by the reactivity of each monomer with the propagating radical chain end (see Figure 3).

Figure 4. Four possible propagation reactions for the free-radical copolymerization of monomers M1 and M2

Four possible propagation reactions for the free-radical copolymerization of monomers M1 and M2

PQ-7 for personal care applications is usually produced via the aqueous solution copolymerization of AM and DADMAC in a semi-batch process like that shown in Figure 4, where AM monomer and initiator are fed continuously into a reactor initially charged with water, DADMAC, a portion of AM, a portion of initiator, and other additives—e.g., chelating agents, pH adjusters, etc.

Biography: Michael J. Fevola, PhD, Johnson & Johnson

Michael J. Fevola, PhD, is a manager in the New Technologies group at Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide in Skillman, NJ, where he leads R&D in polymer and surface chemistry. Fevola has authored 12 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, is an inventor on six US patents, and is a member of the Personal Care Product Council’s International Nomenclature Committee and the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

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