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On the Way to Improve the Environmental Benignity of Chemical Processes: Novel Catalysts for a Polymerization Process

Author

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  • Silvana F. Rach

    (Molecular Catalysis, Catalysis Research Center der Technischen Universität München, Lichtenbergstrasse 4, D-85747 Garching, Germany)

  • Fritz E. Kühn

    () (Molecular Catalysis, Catalysis Research Center der Technischen Universität München, Lichtenbergstrasse 4, D-85747 Garching, Germany)

Abstract

An example for a process that can, in principle, be improved by the application of a catalyst is the synthesis of poly(2-methyl-propene)s (“polyisobutenes”), which are important for numerous industrial applications. Each year several 100,000 t are produced. The production of low-molecular weight polyisobutenes by means of cationic initiation by an excess of Lewis acids is well established. Typically, these initiators require the usage of solvents like chloroform, dichloromethane and ethylene and temperatures far below 0 °C (–100 °C in the case of ethylene as solvent). Solvent stabilized transition metal complexes with weakly coordinating counter anions overcome these drawbacks and thus are not only more efficient, but also more environmentally benign: they can be applied at ambient temperature and in non chlorinated solvents at low concentrations.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvana F. Rach & Fritz E. Kühn, 2009. "On the Way to Improve the Environmental Benignity of Chemical Processes: Novel Catalysts for a Polymerization Process," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 1-8, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:35-42:d:4304
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Solvent ligands; weakly coordinating anions; transition metals; polymerization;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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