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LLDPE Manufacture Technology Description

Online LLDPE Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), including:

  • What is LLDPE
  • How to make LLDPE
  • LLDPE uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of LLDPE production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Manufacture via Solution Process

Polyethylene (PE) is the world’s largest volume commodity polymer. Along with high-density (HDPE) and low-density (LDPE) polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is one of the three main types of PE. The global market for LLDPE is over 20 million metric tons per year, corresponding to about 30% of the total PE produced.

In LLDPE production, three major types of low-pressure technologies are used: slurry, solution and gas-phase processes.

Technology Description

LLDPE Manufacture via Solution Process Technology - Process Flow Diagram

LLDPE is produced by copolymerization of ethylene with alpha-olefins using Ziegler-Natta catalysts. The most common co-monomers used in LLDPE production are 1-butene, 1-hexene and 1-octene.

The flowsheet illustrates the process for butenebased LLDPE production via a solution technology similar to Nova Chemicals’ (Calgary, Alta.; www.novachem.com) solution-phase technology, known as SclairTech. The process shown is a swing process, which is also capable of producing different LLDPE and HDPE grades by utilizing other alphaolefinsas co-monomers.

The process can be divided into four main operation areas: purification and catalyst preparation; reaction; distillation; and finishing.

Purification and Catalyst Preparation

The cyclohexane solvent, ethylene and comonomers are sent to fixed-bed adsorption systems to remove water, oxygen and other polar impurities. The catalysts used in the process are based on mixtures of titanium and vanadium compounds, in conjunction with aluminum alkyls cocatalysts. These components are mixed with solvent and pumped to the polymerization reactor.

Reaction

Ethylene and 1-butene comonomer (in case of butene-based LLDPE) are ...

Economic Performance

An economic evaluation of the solution-phase LLDPE process was conducted based on ...

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This synopsis is based on the report LLDPE Production via Solution Process - Cost Analysis. (For more information, Click here).

Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Manufacture via Gas-Phase Process

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 comonomers 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.

Technology Description

The figure below presents a simplified flow diagram of the gas-phase polymerization process for LLDPE production, using 1-butene as a co-monomer, showing the main pieces of equipment. Examples of commercial gas-phase processes for LLDPE production similar to the one discussed here include: Univation Technologies’ (Houston; www.univation.com) Unipol and Ineos Technologies’ (Rolle, Switzerland; www.ineos.com) Innovene G.

LLDPE Manufacture via Gas-Phase Process Technology - Process Flow Diagram

Feed preparation and polymerization

Initially, raw materials are purified ...

Polymer degassing and vent recovery

In the purge bin ...

Pelletizing and finishing

The polymer powder ...

Economic Performance

An economic evaluation of the process described here was conducted based on data ...

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This synopsis is based on the report LLDPE Production via Gas-Phase Process - Cost Analysis. (For more information, Click here).