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Olefin Polymerization Catalysts


The Design and Development of a New Generation of Advanced Olefin Polymerization Catalysts Based on Metallocene Complexes of 3b and 4b Group Metals

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-POL/Polymer Chemistry/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komashko B A

Leading Institute
Moscow State University / Department of Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • Dow Chemical Company, USA, MI, Midland\nLos-Alamos National Laboratory / Chemical and Environmental Research and Development Group (CTS-18), USA, NM, Los-Alamos\nColumbia University / Department of Chemistry, USA, New York

Project summary

The present project is aimed at the development of advanced catalytic systems based on sandwich and semi-sandwich complexes of3b and 4b metals for olefin polymerization. Main attention shall be given to the following four areas:
1. The search for new catalysts based on 4b group metal complexes for the production of new brands of polyolefms. This part includes the development of methods for preparation of ligands and organometallic complexes, the generation of cationic complexes, the study of the mechanism which accounts for the activation of catalysts giving rise to active centers on the surface, the measurements of catalytic activity, as well as the characterization of the polymers formed.
2. The development of methods for the preparation of supported 4b group metal complexes, the measurement of their catalytic activity, and the study of the mechanism of polymerization with such catalysts.
3. The development of technological process and the construction of a pilot setup for the most economically valuable catalyst (shall be chosen among the catalysts developed at steps 1 and 2 with aid of a marketing study). The refinement of technology can be achieved using the data obtained from the pilot production runs.
4. The search of new catalytic systems based on bis- and monocyclopentadienyl complexes of yttrium and lanthanides.

The following main results should be obtained in the course of research according to the project goals and directions:

1. New homogeneous and supported catalysts based on sandwich and semi-sandwich complexes of 4b group metals shall be obtained and studied for application as catalysts for olefin polymerization leading to special brands of polyolefms demanded by the markets in Russia and abroad. Polymers to be exploited shall include polyethylene, polypropylene, poly-4-methylpentene-l, polyhexene, and co-polymers of these and other olefins. These studies shall allow to elucidate the mechanism of polymerization and highlight the role of the active cationic centers, as well as to understand the relations between the intimate structure of catalytic centers and the properties of poly olefin formed.
2. The most advanced systems developed with workbench experiments outlined above shall be scaled up to a technological procedures applied both to the industrial preparation of catalysts, and polymerization processes involving the catalysts thus developed. A selected procedure shall be realized as a pilot setup, and used for the elaboration of technology, the optimization of processing parameters, and used to produce the catalyst in amounts sufficient to load the existing low-volume industrial olefin polymerization and processing facilities exploited by Joint Stock Company Plastpolimer. Further on, the experience and technological data accumulated during this stage of project shall be transferred to other industrial sites, including Moscow Oil Processing Company, and chemical companies abroad, as well as to extend the scope of advanced special polyolefinic materials for market needs.
3. New catalysts based on rare-earth metal complexes shall be developed and studied in olefin polymerization processes. Such new generation catalysts are expected to open economical routes to new types of polyolefms, and to bring new data on the mechanisms and intimate details of polymerization processes.

The results obtained during work on the Project are expected to possess a considerable commercial value. If the Project results in a new highly efficient catalyst, further work should be supported from commercial sources thus ISTC should not be responsible for additional financing. Several participants of the Project team are already performing research supported by such major chemical companies as Exxon and Akzo. Though these studies are not part of the current Project, their subject is very close thus effectively broadening the scope of planned research.

Potential Role of Foreign Collaborators

Foreign collaborators of the Project will take part hi all stages of activity in the framework of the Project, particularly in catalyst structure studies, in the study of catalytic activity of organometallic compounds in olefin polymerization, and in the marketing study for foreign market. Foreign collaborators will control all activity in the framework of the Project.


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