Catalytic making of ethylene-1-hexene elastomers: Thermodynamic guide to process development

Muhammad Atiqullah*, Ahmed F. Abdelaal, Sagir Adamu, Hassan S. Alasiri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ethylene-alpha olefin elastomers have versatile applications. Solution copolymerization makes them, using ethylene and alpha olefin-rich comonomer feed and metallocene and postmetallocene precatalysts, at laboratory and industry conditions. Hence, this study models ethylene solubility in toluene-1-hexene and n-hexane-1-hexene mixtures using VLE criterion, Peng–Robinson EoS, vdW1f mixing rule, and Shulgin's activity coefficient-Henry's constant formalism. Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm, with initial conditions comprising quasi-ideal K factor correlation and Tait liquid phase EoS, solved the model equations. This eliminates present cumbersome literature approach. The predicted solubilities well match the experimental values at all temperature and pressure. Ethylene solubility correlates the liquid phase fluid compressibility to the corresponding catalyst active center residential environment. This offers a new approach to investigate catalyst and copolymerization phenomena and develop ethylene-1-hexene elastomer process. Evaluating copolymerization and microstructural property, using ethylene solubility ignoring that in 1-hexene, introduces significant errors. The present work corrects them and solves a long-standing polymer reaction engineering problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18258
JournalAIChE Journal
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Keywords

  • Levenberg–Marquardt MATLAB fsolve algorithm
  • Peng–Robinson and Tait equations of state
  • Shulgin's activity coefficient-Henry's constant formalism
  • catalyst active center liquid phase residential environment
  • ethylene solubility model in pure and binary liquid mixture
  • ethylene-alpha olefin elastomer
  • metallocene and post-metallocene precatalysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering

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