Polyolefin Spheres from Metallocenes Supported on Noninteracting Polystyrene

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To obviate the destructive interaction of highly reactive metallocene catalysts with classical silica-based supports while retaining the advantage of supported catalysts, a noninteracting polystyrene support was developed. Supported catalysts for the polymerization of alpha-olefins are prepared by treating lightly cross-linked, chloromethylated polystyrene beads consecutively with a secondary amine, an ammonium salt of a weakly coordinating anion, and a neutral dialkylmetallocene. Catalytic sites are distributed homogeneously throughout the support particle, and the polymerization occurs within the bead, in contrast to traditional surface-supported metallocene catalysts. The copolymerization of ethylene and 1-hexene at 40[degree sign]C affords discrete spherical polyolefin beads with a size (0.3 to 1.4 millimeters) that varies according to the polymerization time.

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