Solution isomerization of commercial C2-symmetric metallocene catalysts

Soltan, Omar (2006-03)

Thesis (MSc (Chemistry and Polymer Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This study concerns the investigation of the isomerization of different metallocene catalysts in solution, and the effects thereof on the microstructure of polypropylenes prepared with these catalysts. Two C2 symmetric ansa metallocenes, ethylene-bis(indenyl) zirconium dichloride (EI) and dimethylsilyl-bis(2-methyl benzoindenyl) zirconium dichloride (MBI) were exposed, in solution, to both sunlight and UV radiation. The rac-meso isomerization of these catalysts were followed by 1H NMR spectroscopy. The reaching of a photostationary state is described, as well as the effect of isomerization of these catalysts in solution on the polymerization of propylene. Results show that metallocene structure has an effect on the isomerization rate and photostationary state. Results also show that the wavelength of light plays a role in the isomerization process. Effects on stereochemistry and molecular weight of the formed polymer as well as the catalyst activity is described and discussed. In addition the effect of activating the catalysts with MAO before exposure to light is discussed.

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