Document Type: Original research
Research and Development Division, Japan Polychem Corporation, 1, Toho-cho Yokkaichi, Mie 510-0848, Japan
Graduate school of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan
Spray dry granulation of clay minerals was studied to obtain clay mineral base support material for metallocene supported olefin polymerization catalysts. The morphology of the granules was strongly influenced by the nature of the clay mineral itself.
Because of swelling characteristics of montmorillonite, its water dispersion was highly viscous even in the low slurry concentration (< 4 wt %). Therefore, it was very difficult to control the granule characteristics such as size, shape, and inside structure by the spray dry with the clay mineral slurry. Then we examined some methods in order to change the clay mineral surface properties for getting less viscous dispersion.
It was found that the milling of montmorillonite increased the amount of surface OH groups. This surface characteristic change should promote the interaction between the edges and basal planes of the primary particles of milled montmorillonite, resulting in the lowering the slurry viscosity. The milling is effective for overcoming difficulty in use of high concentration montmorillonite slurry in spray dry granulation which is indispensable for producing granules in the wide range of size (10–50 μm).
The spray-dried montmorillonite granules are useful as a "Support-Activator" for an olefin polymerization catalyst combined with metallocenes.