metallocene catalyst

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metallocene catalyst

[mə¦tal·ə‚sēn ′kad·ə‚list]
(organic chemistry)
A molecular structure with a well-defined single catalytic site, consisting of an organometallic coordination compound in which one or two cyclopentadienyl rings (with or without substituents) are bonded to a central transition-metal atom; used to produce uniform polyolefins with unique structures and physical properties.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Metallocene catalyst

A transition-metal atom sandwiched between ring structures having a well-defined single catalytic site and well-understood molecular structure used to produce uniform polyolefins with unique structures and physical properties.

In the early 1980s, W. Kaminsky discovered that an appropriate co-catalyst activated metallocene compounds of group 4 metals, that is, titanium, zirconium, and hafnium, for alpha-olefin polymerization, attracting industrial interest. This observation led to the synthesis of a great number of metallocene compounds for the production of polymers already made industrially, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, and new materials. Polymers produced with metallocene catalysts represent a small fraction of the entire polyolefin market, but experts agree that such a fraction will increase rapidly in the future.

The simplest metallocene precursor has the formula Cp2MX2, where M is one of the group 4 metals (mainly Zr and Ti) and X are halogen atoms (mainly chlorine, Cl). The latter are known as mobile ligands because during polymerization they are substituted or removed. A typical co-catalyst, in the absence of which the activity is very low, is methylaluminoxane (MAO), an oligomeric compound described by the formula (CH3AlO)n, whose structure is not yet fully understood. MAO plays several roles: it alkylates the metallocene precursor by replacing chlorine atoms with methyl groups; it produces the catalytic active ion pair Cp2MCH3+/MAO-, where the cationic moiety is considered responsible for polymerization and MAO- acts as weakly coordinating anion.

The simplest metallocene structures are easily modified by replacing the Cp ligands with other variously substituted derivatives. In this way, a great number of catalysts with different steric and electronic properties are generated. The catalysts contain two C5 ring derivatives, always lying on tilted planes, which can be bridged or unbridged. Some examples are shown in the illustration, where the influence of the metallocene structure on the microstructure of the polymer product is also shown.

Because activity, stereospecificity, regiospecificity, and relative reactivity toward different monomers depend on the catalysts' characteristics, the metallocene systems offer the advantage of controlling the product through modifications of their chemical structure.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ethylene polymerizations using the magnesium supported Ziegler-Natta catalyst were conducted under various reaction conditions.
[21.] Kahraman R., Erdogan M., Bilgic T.: "Polymerization of Propylene Using a Prepolymerized High-Active Ziegler-Natta Catalyst. I.
Single-site and Ziegler-Natta catalysts aren't compatible, but can be used in sequence.
The synthesis of ethylene/1-butene copolymers is conducted under various reaction conditions using magnesium-supported Ziegler-Natta catalyst. A semibatch autoclave reactor (300 mL) was used for the polymerization reactions.
As a result, V722 demonstrates a higher degree of crystallinity than might be expected from its ethylene content (approximately 72%) if it were prepared using a conventional multi-site Ziegler-Natta catalyst system.
interfacial tensions for PP/LLDPE systems varied from 0.2 mN/m, when an LLDPE made with a metallocene catalyst and 1-butene comonomer was used, to 2.6 mN/m, when an LLDPE made with a Ziegler-Natta catalyst and 1-butene comonomer was used.
This propylene copolymer must be produced by a Ziegler-Natta catalyst for the proper microstructure.
Therefore, in the present work we have performed acid treatment and hydrophobization on the fibers surface in order to increase their compatibility with the polypropylene matrix, as well as to eliminate the functional groups capable of affecting the Ziegler-Natta catalyst sites.
The "ENB-EPDM" and "DCPDEPDM" are commercial Keltan EPDM products and have been produced with a standard Ziegler-Natta catalyst system, based on vanadium oxytrichloride and sesquiethylaluminum chloride.
However, in case a Ziegler-Natta catalyst is used in polymerizing the resin, considerable amounts of polar residues, such as chlorine, aluminium, titanium, magnesium or silicon remain.
The so-called "ENB-EPDM" is a commercial Keltan EPDM product and has been produced with a generic Ziegler-Natta catalyst system.
BP and Nova have a separate agreement, signed last year, to develop and commercialize gas-phase use of Nova's advanced Ziegler-Natta catalyst, called Novacat T.