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Catalysts and Process for Olefins and Polar Vinyl Monomers Copolymerization and Olefins Homopolymerization

CopolymerizationFunctionalized polyolefinsHomogeneous catalystsIn-chainPolar vinyl monomers

Introduction

The present invention deals with the development of new homogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of functionalized polyolefins featuring the polar vinyl monomer, either in the main chain or in both the main chain and at the end of the branches. These new catalysts: i) are active under very mild reaction conditions ii) do not require the addition of any co-catalyst and/or additives iii) allow a high control of the macromolecule architecture.

Technical features

Industrial methods for the production of functionalized polyolefins require harsh reaction conditions, such as high pressure and temperature, implying a low cost efficiency, high energy consumption and a poor control over the macromolecule microstructure. The present invention deals with the development of efficient homogeneous catalysts for the copolymerization of ethylene with polar vinyl monomers yielding copolymers, with the polar monomer inserted either in the main chain or in both the main chain and at the end of the branches. The main innovative aspects deal with the proper combination between the peculiar ligand present in the catalyst and the reaction conditions. The catalysts, robust and inert towards moisture, allows for a high control of the macromolecule microstructure. The inserted polar monomer is in the range 0.2 – 4.0 mol %; the molecular weight of the macromolecules covers a wide range up to 360 kDa.

Possible Applications

  • Synthesis of functionalized polyolefins.

Advantages

  • Very mild reaction conditions;
  • No use of cocatalyst and/or activator;
  • High control of the macromolecule microstructure;
  • Content of polar monomer lower than 20 %;
  • Incorporation of the polar monomer in either the main chain or in both the main chain and at the end of the branches.