To produce high-purity alpha olefins (C4–C10) suitable as copolymers for LLDPE production and as precursors for plasticizer alcohols and polyalphaolefins using the AlphaSelect process.
Polymer-grade ethylene is oligomerized in a liquid-phase reactor (1) with a liquid homogeneous catalyst designed for high activity and selectivity. Liquid effluent and spent catalyst are then separated (2); the liquid is distilled (3) for recycling unreacted ethylene to the reactor, then fractionated (4) in order to produce high-purity alpha olefins. Spent catalyst is treated to remove volatile hydrocarbons before safe disposal.
The table below illustrates the superior purities attainable (wt%) with the Alpha-Select process:
The process is simple; it operates at mild operating temperatures and pressures and only carbon steel equipment is required. The catalyst is nontoxic and easily handled.