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Separation of polyolefins based on comonomer content using high-temperature gradient adsorption liquid chromatography with a graphitic carbon column

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Abstract

This report describes the application of a recently developed polyolefin characterization tool based upon gradient adsorption high-temperature liquid chromatography (HT-LC) using a graphitic carbon stationary phase to polyolefin homopolymer and previously unreported copolymer systems. Polyolefin-based materials find utility in a broad range of applications and are differentiated by parameters such as molecular weight and comonomer content. Polymer comonomer distribution is commonly determined by crystallinity-based separations (ATREF, CRYSTAF). These techniques, however, are time consuming. In addition, some semicrystalline polymers undergo cocrystallization, impacting the techniques' universal utility. Adsorption-based HT-LC can ideally overcome the limitations of crystallinity-based separations, shedding new light on the composition of randomly-polymerized polyolefins. In this report the basic separation capability of the adsorption HT-LC technique, using a graphitic carbon column, is demonstrated for poly (ethylene-co-octene) and poly(ethylene-co-propylene) systems and compared with select precipitation/redissolution HT-LC and ATREF results. Select results in this paper are also compared and contrasted to other recent publications on similar separations of polyolefins. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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