Basell Poliolefine Italia Srl
Polypropylene is one of the most important plastic materials. Its use has grown rapidly since its invention in 1954 by Nobel Prize winner Giulio Natta of the Politecnico di Milano University. PP’s market growth is mainly driven by new applications and by the replacement of more traditional materials. By changing PP’s molecular structure, we can achieve a range of properties so wide that it can replace materials as diverse as glass, steel, wood, paper, and concrete.
In a polymerization process, catalyst and technology are the key elements in the architecture of the final polymer structure. Catalyst innovation in recent years has made available materials with different monomer compositions and different molecular-weight distributions, expanding the range of physical properties. Technologies of increasing complexity have introduced multi-polymerization steps to obtain ex-reactor blends with performance superior to that of mechanical blends. Recently, LyondellBasell introduced a completely new concept in PP process technology: a single-polymerization reactor with a monomer multi-composition able to generate a material with a “continuous” molecular structure variation. This has boosted the mechanical properties of the final material beyond previously known boundaries.