Polymers are the materials of the 21st century and basically our modern life would not be possible without them. These materials cover a broad range of properties and requirements, which must be followed, analyzed and optimized in production and product development. Bench scale polymerization is key as it will both reduce costs and increase the speed of production optimization and product development. It gives high flexibility in experimental design for a broad range of parameters and is valuable in studies of catalyst and reactor performance. Our institute has the competence, equipment and resources to study polymerization of olefins for most relevant conditions and industrial processes.
An important cornerstone of our research capabilities is based on our advanced polymerization laboratory. We can study catalysts, any olefin polymerization, new monomers, process conditions and set ups.
Olefin polymerization Equipment:
• 5 L multipurpose compensation calorimeter reactor for multistage polymerizations
• 0,5 L fast screening compensation calorimeter reactor
• Micro reactor for follow-up of the polymerization under light / IR microscope
• Dedicated purification units for raw materials
• Glove box for save handling of catalysts
With this equipment we will be able to collect fundamental information on the catalytic olefin polymerization in terms of:
• Influence of temperature
• Influence of catalyst system (catalyst, co-catalyst, donor), type and concentration
• Influence of pressure
• H2 response
• Influence of impurities
• Particle fragmentation, fines generation, morphology development
• Co-monomer incorporation (type)
• Two-stage polymerization inclusive post-injection of relevant components
• Differences in gas phase, liquid pool and slurry
• Molecular properties (crystallinity, MWD, CCD, …)
• Material properties
The polymerization microscope enables us to follow single particles with respect to their growth, heat balance (e.g. overheating in gas phase!) and morphogenesis.
Even in small laboratory reactors, millions of different-in-size-and-preparation catalyst particles are used and only averaged result can be produced. Single particles, especially of different size, can behave very different. This different behavior can be studied using single-particle reactors. Growth rate and particle temperature profiles (as function of time) provide a deeper insight and better understanding of the kinetic behavior of single particles. Such investigations are helpful for supporting the research work of catalyst developers and chemical engineers.
Besides our interest in polymer reaction technology and related research projects we are also capable in synthesizing small but well-defined samples on request.
Functional Polyolefin Additives
During the last 60 years the development of synthetic polymers and plastics widely affected our daily life and their world wide production increased nearly exponential from about 1.5 million tons in 1950 to 260 million tons in 2007. The industrial allocation of neat polymers involved the need for stabilization and established a new branch of industry. Almost all technical polymers must be prevented against various degradation processes such as oxidation, thermal-, and UV-decomposition during manufacture and storage of the neat polymer as well as processing and the life-time of the plastic end product. Thus, the development of additives for stabilization and application-oriented modification of the resulting plastics is attended by the beginning of commercial polymer utilization.
The research group’s interest is focused on the synthesis, determination of physico-chemical properties, and user-related testing of novel polyolefin additives that combine the demanded stabilizing effects with recently appeared requirements for immobilization, stabilization of polyolefins against water germicides, and the development of photo-switchable polymers.