Polymerization of propylene in a minireactor: Effect of polymerization conditions on particle morphology

Document Type : Original research


Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, P.O.Box 14185/458, Tehran, Iran


Gas phase polymerization of propylene was carried out in a semi-batch minireactor using a commercially supported Ziegler–Natta (ZN) catalyst. The influence of variables including monomer partial pressure, external electron donor, reaction temperature and time on the particle morphology and size distribution was investigated. Generally, more uniform fragmentation and particle densities were obtained at lower reaction rates. Monomer partial pressure showed a significant role of particle size and its distribution, the higher the monomer partial pressure, the broader particle size distribution was obtained. Polymerization pressure had a significant role on the morphology of particles. Wider cracks and more porosity were resulted from the polymerizations at higher pressures. Furthermore, a broader particle size distribution was obtained from the polymerization at higher pressures. The particle size analysis revealed the monomer partial pressure as the most effective parameter on the distribution of particles. The SEM images showed that three different steps could be distinguished in the development of particle morphology within the particle, showing the initiation and development of cracks and appearance of fragments inside the particle.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 16 October 2017
  • Revise Date: 24 December 2017
  • Accept Date: 03 January 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 June 2018