Heterogeneous Ethylene and Alpha-Olefin Copolymerization Using Zirconocene Aluminohydride Complexes



In this work we studied the copolymerization of ethylene and different alpha-olefins (propylene, 1-butene, 1-hexene, and 1-octene) using aluminohydride zirconocene systems supported on modified silica. The copolymerization reactions were carried out in hexanes, at different Al/Zr ratios, using two different comonomer concentrations. The effect of comonomer type on catalyst activity and polymer molecular weight and chemical composition distributions (MWD and CCD) was compared. Average comonomer incorporation was determined by 13C NMR and the CCD by crystallization elution fractionation (CEF). Most of the copolymerizations showed very high catalytic activity (up to 4000 Kg PE/mol Zr), and the molecular weight was higher for the copolymers containing 1-octene, demonstrating that aluminohydride zirconocene systems can copolymerize ethylene and alpha-olefins effectively.