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Molecules 2011, 16(1), 373-383; doi:10.3390/molecules16010373

Observation of Different Catalytic Activity of Various 1-Olefins during Ethylene/1-Olefin Copolymerization with Homogeneous Metallocene Catalysts

,  and *
Center of Excellence on Catalysis and Catalytic Reaction Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2010 / Revised: 28 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 January 2011 / Published: 7 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Homogeneous Catalysis)
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This research aimed to investigate the copolymerization of ethylene and various 1-olefins. The comonomer lengths were varied from 1-hexene (1-C6) up to 1-octadecene (1-C18) in order to study the effect of comonomer chain length on the activity and properties of the polymer in the metallocene/MAO catalyst system. The results indicated that two distinct cases can be described for the effect of 1-olefin chain length on the activity. Considering the short chain length comonomers, such as 1-hexene, 1-octene and 1-decene, it is obvious that the polymerization activity decreased when the length of comonomer was higher, which is probably due to increased steric hindrance at the catalytic center hindering the insertion of ethylene monomer to the active sites, hence, the polymerization rate decreased. On the contrary, for the longer chain 1-olefins, namely 1-dodecene, 1-tetradecene and 1-octadecene, an increase in the comonomer chain length resulted in better activity due to the opening of the gap aperture between Cp(centroid)-M-Cp-(centroid), which forced the coordination site to open more. This effect facilitated the polymerization of the ethylene monomer at the catalytic sites, and thus, the activity increased. The copolymers obtained were further characterized using thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy and 13C-NMR techniques. It could be seen that the melting temperature and comonomer distribution were not affected by the 1-olefin chain length. The polymer crystallinity decreased slightly with increasing comonomer chain length. Moreover, all the synthesized polymers were typical LLDPE having random comonomer distribution.
Keywords: metallocene catalyst; homogeneous catalyst; long chain olefins; copolymerization metallocene catalyst; homogeneous catalyst; long chain olefins; copolymerization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wannaborworn, M.; Praserthdam, P.; Jongsomjit, B. Observation of Different Catalytic Activity of Various 1-Olefins during Ethylene/1-Olefin Copolymerization with Homogeneous Metallocene Catalysts. Molecules 2011, 16, 373-383.

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