Keltan Acetm Technology : Implemented Innovation for High Quality EPDM

Tuesday, October 11, 2016: 2:00 PM
Rm 306-7 (David L. Lawrence Convention Center )
Gerard van Doremaele, Dr.ir. MBA, BL Keltan Elastomers, Arlanxeo, Geleen, Netherlands
Group 4 single-center (half-titanocene) olefin polymerization catalysts are the focus of continuing industrial and academic research.[1] ARLANXEO Elastomers has developed Keltan ACE™ technology, a class of half-sandwich cyclopentadienyl κ1-amidinate metal complexes, which are extremely active for the production of ethylene/propylene/diene copolymer (EPDM).[2] In 2013, the largest EPDM production asset in the Netherlands was already converted from Vanadium-based Ziegler-Natta catalysis to Keltan ACE™. In 2015, a new plant having a nameplate capacity of 160,000 metric tons per year, has been successfully started-up in Changzhou, China. The plant produces 10 different premium grades of EPDM rubber.

In this presentation the key features and benefits of the Keltan ACE™ catalyst systems will be presented. In comparison with conventional ZN technology, the more sustainable Keltan ACE™ process reduces the amount of energy required for production. Thanks to high catalyst efficiency, the process does not require catalyst extraction. It also produces no catalyst waste. The end result is that the technology is cleaner and consumes fewer scarce resources than comparable processes.

Some examples are shown in which commercialized Keltan ACE™ EPDMs products are compared with state-of-the-art Ziegler-Natta counter grades.

As an example of our continuous search towards further improved catalyst systems, a new family of Keltan ACETM catalysts is presented featuring a cyclic amidinate ligand motif.[3] The development of this new class of easy-to-synthesize catalyst was expedited by using high-throughput tools to identify suitable candidates for up-scaled evaluation using both batch and continuous polymerization reactor set-ups. The new catalysts showed improved capability to prepare high molecular weight EPDM combined with enhanced comonomer incorporation in comparison to established acyclic amidinate variants.

[1] See for example a) Nomura, K. , Liu, J., Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 7666; b) Fujita T., Makio, H., Terao, H., Iwashita,A., Chem. Rev. 2011, 111, 2363; c) Gibson, V.,Spitzmesser, S.K., Chem. Rev., 2003, 103, 283; d) Resconi, L., Cavallo, L., Fait, A., Piemontesi, F., Chem. Rev., 2000, 100, 1253; e) Nomura, K., Patamma, S., Matsuda, H., Katao, S., Tsutsumi, K., Fukuda, H., RSC Adv, 2015, 5, 64503.

[2] a) E.G. Ijpeij, M.A. Zuideveld, H.J. Arts, F. van der Burgt and G.H.J. van Doremaele, WO, 2007031295, 2007; b) E.G. Ijpeij, P.J.H. Windmuller, H.J. Arts, F. van der Burgt, G.H.J. van Doremaele, M.A. Zuideveld, WO2005090418, 2005.

[3] Patent application filed in 2014.