Online Monitoring of Polyolefin Particle Growth in Catalytic Olefin Slurry Polymerization by Means of Lasentec Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM) and Video Microscopy (PVM) Probes

Authors

  • Rainer Xalter,

    1. Freiburg Materials Research Center and Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Stefan-Meier-Str. 31, D-79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany
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  • Rolf Mülhaupt

    Corresponding author
    1. Freiburg Materials Research Center and Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Stefan-Meier-Str. 31, D-79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany
    • Freiburg Materials Research Center and Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Stefan-Meier-Str. 31, D-79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany. Fax: +49 (0)761 203 4709
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Abstract

Polymer particle growth in catalytic ethylene slurry polymerizations with SiO2-supported metallocene and post-metallocene catalysts was monitored online using a Lasentec FBRM probe inserted into the stirred reactor. FBRM enabled the online monitoring of particle numbers and size distributions. Trend analyses provided time-resolved information on selected variables of the particle growth processes. FBRM was combined with simultaneous ethylene mass flow measurements in order to distinguish between ideal particle growth and more complex growth processes involving particle fragmentation and aggregation. Additional use of a Lasentec PVM video microscopy probe during ethylene polymerization on a MgCl2-supported Ziegler catalyst enabled the online visualization of PE particles, complementing the data generated by FBRM online monitoring.

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