Theoretical-Experimental Study of the Action of Trace Amounts of Formaldehyde, Propionaldehyde, and Butyraldehyde as Inhibitors of the Ziegler-Natta Catalyst and the Synthesis of an Ethylene-Propylene Copolymer

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Feb 22;15(5):1098. doi: 10.3390/polym15051098.


The copolymer synthesis process can be affected by failures in the production process or by contaminating compounds such as ketones, thiols, and gases, among others. These impurities act as an inhibiting agent of the Ziegler-Natta (ZN) catalyst affecting its productivity and disturbing the polymerization reaction. In this work, the effect of formaldehyde, propionaldehyde, and butyraldehyde on the ZN catalyst and the way in which it affects the final properties of the ethylene-propylene copolymer is presented by analyzing 30 samples with different concentrations of the mentioned aldehydes along with three control samples. It was determined that the presence of formaldehyde 26 ppm, propionaldehyde 65.2 ppm, and butyraldehyde 181.2 ppm considerably affect the productivity levels of the ZN catalyst; this effect increases as the concentration of aldehydes is higher in the process; likewise, these impurities affect the properties of the final product, such as the fluidity index (MFI), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), bending, tension, and impact, which leads to a polymer with low-quality standards and less resistance to breakage. The computational analysis showed that the complexes formed by formaldehyde, propionaldehyde, and butyraldehyde with the active center of the catalyst are more stable than those obtained by the ethylene-Ti and propylene-Ti complexes, presenting values of -40.5, -47.22, -47.5, -5.2 and -1.3 kcal mol-1 respectively.

PMID:36904338 | PMC:PMC10007541 | DOI:10.3390/polym15051098


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