- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
In Ziegler–Natta catalysis, the catalyst particle size has a strong influence not only on catalyst performance but also on the morphology and particle size distribution of the final polymer particles. Fundamental insight into the catalyst particle formation process is therefore of industrial importance when addressing specific requirements in the final products. In the present work, we fully characterize a single-step catalyst preparation process, which comprises a reactive precipitation of a MgCl2-supported Ziegler–Natta catalyst, through decomposition of the hetero-bimetallic complex, Mg(OR)2·Ti(OR)4, by addition of ethyl aluminum dichloride (EADC). We track the evolution of both of the concentrations of the metals (Mg, Ti, Al) as well as Cl in the liquid phase and the size of the formed catalyst particles. It is observed that the liquid-phase composition is governed by the EADC feed rate under fully Cl-starved conditions. The process can be divided into two stages: The first stage is dominated by the precipitation of the Mg-based support, and the second stage involves complex adsorption–precipitation of the Ti species. The growth of the catalyst particle size occurs only in the first stage and is controlled by the aggregation and breakage events during the MgCl2 precipitation. It follows that the hydrodynamic stress in the reactor plays the essential role in controlling the catalyst size. In the second stage, no further particle growth occurs, not only because of the depletion of Mg in the liquid phase but also because the adsorbed Ti complex stabilizes the particles against aggregation. Finally, we have performed polymerization tests with the prepared catalysts and found that the size distribution of the polymer particles indeed closely replicates the one of the used catalyst particles. Show more
Journal / seriesIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Organisational unit03451 - Morbidelli, Massimo (emeritus) / Morbidelli, Massimo (emeritus)
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