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LLDPE Production Using a Gas-Phase Process

By Chemical Engineering |

This column is based on “LLDPE Production via Gas-Phase Process — Cost Analysis,” a report from Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/lldpe-production-cost. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is a copolymer of ethylene and longer-chain alpha-olefins, manufactured on commercial scale via low-pressure polymerization processes. The main technologies suitable for LLDPE production include slurry, solution and gas-phase processes. The most common co-monomers used commercially are 1-butene, 1-hexene, and 1-octene. LLDPE is used in a broad range of applications due to its attractive mechanical properties and low cost. The greatest demand for LLDPE resins is associated with plastic film and sheet end-use, representing most of the total production. Compared to blown films of low-density polyethylene, LLDPE films exhibit tremendous toughness, dart impact and puncture resistance. The process The following paragraphs describe a gas-phase polymerization process for LLDPE production, using 1-butene as a co-monomer. Figure 1 presents a simplified flow diagram of the process, showing the main pieces of equipment. Examples of commercial gas-phase processes for LLDPE production similar to the one discussed here include:…
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