Kinetics of ethylene polymerization over titanium-magnesium catalysts: The reasons for the observed second order of polymerization rate with respect to ethylene

Document Type: Original research


Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prospekt Akademika Lavrentieva 5, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia


The data on the effect of ethylene concentration on polymerization rate for several modifications of modern highly active titanium–magnesium catalysts TiCl4/MgCl2 are presented. These catalysts differ in titanium content and conditions of support preparation, activities, and the shape of kinetic curves. It is found that the observed order of polymerization rate with respect to ethylene in the range of ethylene pressures of 0.5–6 bar is 1.8-2.1 for all catalysts used (polymerization at 80°C, AlEt3 used as a cocatalyst). When AlEt3 was replaced with Al(i-Bu)3, the reaction order decreased to 1.3-1.4. In order to elucidate the possible reasons for the observed high order with respect to ethylene, we analyzed the data on the effect of monomer concentration on the molecular weight of polyethylene. The results gave grounds for suggesting that the observed order with respect to monomer is attributable to the effect of ethylene concentration on the number of active sites. The possible reaction scheme explaining the nonlinear dependence of the polymerization rate on monomer concentration was proposed based on these data.


Main Subjects

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Volume 2, Issue 1
Winter and Spring 2015
Pages 27-38
  • Receive Date: 19 September 2014
  • Revise Date: 09 December 2014
  • Accept Date: 09 December 2014