(790a) Invited Talk: Achieving Product Differentiation Through Innovations in Polymerization Catalysts and Processes
Polyolefins industry has a long history of new product development through breakthroughs in catalysts and processes. The discovery of metallocene catalyst revolutionized the industry as these catalyst allowed control of polymer architecture at the molecular level. Recently a new catalytic system was introduced to make olefin block copolymers with alternating semi-crystalline and amorphous segments. The advent of chain shuttling polymerization has expanded the toolbox available to polymer scientists for the preparation of a variety of functional polymer materials. For example, polymers can be produced which have narrow polydispersity and it also permits production of olefin block copolymers. A kinetic model for chain shuttling copolymerization using dual catalysts for solution polymerization processes will be described. This model focuses on predicting polymer properties such as molecular weight and its distribution and overall copolymer composition. A novel dispersed phase polymerization process will be described that is not only energy efficient but also allows production of unique polymers. These catalyst discoveries along with novel reactor and process concepts have permitted introduction of new polymer products with unique properties. This talk will describe the product through process concept by highlighting a couple of examples.