The Societal Impact of Polyolefins

P. Brant
United States

Keywords: polyolefins, structure, property, metallocene, LLDPE, markets, society


Today, worldwide polyolefin production exceeds 150 MMT per annum and continues to grow at around 4% per year1-4. Polyolefins are now fully integrated into all the major segments of the world’s economy including health care, packaging, electronics, automotive, construction, and infrastructure. Innovations that have enabled this growth have come from all steps in the value delivery chain We will highlight selectively important innovations that have contributed to the growth of polyolefins as well as advances in analysis and modeling that have enabled improved understanding of key variables. Special attention will be given to the continuing impact of metallocene and post-metallocene catalysts, especially their supportation and operation in gas phase fluidized bed reactors, on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) resin design and improved product properties5 and their continuing role in meeting new societal opportunities and challenges. Finally, we will share research progress on a new class of branched alpha-olefin oligomers based on propylene rather than ethylene (linear alpha olefins, or LAO’s), including study of their properties, functionalization, and potential utility6-8. References 1. D. B. Malpass, E. I. Band, “Introduction to polymers of propylene,” in Introduction to Industrial Polypropylene: Properties, Catalysis, Processes (Scrivener, 2012), pp. 1–18. 2. M. Stürzel, S. Mihan, R. Mülhaupt, Chem. Rev. 116, 1398–1433 (2016). 3. W. Kaminsky, Ed., Polyolefins: 50 Years After Ziegler and Natta I (Advances in Polymer Science Series, Springer, 2013). 4. “Global Polypropylene (PP) Market - by Type, End-Use Industries, Products, and Region - Market Size, Demand Forecasts, Industry Trends and Updates (2018-2025)”; 5. Metallocene-based Polyolefins: Preparation, Properties, and TechnologyJ. Scheirs and W. Kaminsky, editors, Wiley Polymer Science, NY, 2000. 6. P. Brant, A.G. Narvaez, D.J. Crowther,“Allylic vinyl terminated atactic polypropylene macromonomer and their rheological characterization” US Patent 8,283,428. 7. P. Brant, “Vinyl terminated atactic polypropylene oligomers: Characterization and reactions of distilled narrow molecular weight distribution fractions” Oligomers Symposium, Abstracts of papers of the American Chemical Society, Volume 251, Spring National ACS Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 13, 2016. 8. P. Brant, P. M.K. Ng, M. Vadlamudi, D.J. Crowther, C.J. Ruff, J.M. Younker, P. Patrone, J.E. Lee, “Revisiting Fox-Flory: Detailed Study of Glass-Transition Temperature for Polypropylene Systems”, submitted.