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2009-11-06

Borealis: New polyethylene bench scale reactors up and running in Linz

A year ago Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, announced the successful completion of the laboratory reactors for Polypropylene (PP) polymerisation at the international Innovation Headquarters in Linz. A team of international experts worked on the second stage of a step-changing innovation project for polyethylene (PE)-reactors, which has now been completed.

Three additional laboratory reactors are now up and running. These new, one of a kind reactors are being used for PE polymerisation. During summer, the first test samples were produced.

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“We managed to put four competence fields together, namely the mechanical, electrical, software and chemical engineering, and to get all reactors up and running as scheduled,” says Alexander Krajete, Borealis Polymerisation Expert and Project Manager for the new reactors. “With this additional investment, we are able to use smaller samples in a more efficient and flexible way, speeding up our product development process.”

Hybrid operation mode for PE and PP
The new laboratory reactors allow a hybrid operation mode for both PE and PP and they herald a new approach in the use of bench scale reactors to accurately mimic a continuous pilot or plant process. They enable Borealis to shorten turn-around time for sample evaluation and to create new product innovations together with the customers. Additionally, innovations will come to the advanced packaging, mobility and pipe markets faster and also in a more cost-efficient way.

“Even in the short time that the small reactors have been running, we have created some new inventions which are on their way to becoming patented and we are further strengthening the accelerated product development with corresponding processing equipment”, says Michael Benisch, R&D Service Manager Borealis. “The new laboratory reactors have a high degree of automation, safety and functionality, which allow maximum flexibility with respect to hydrogen and comonomer use.”

“After an initial period of general testing, the reactors will form an important part of the company´s strategy to accelerate product innovation development”, says Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President of Innovation and Technology.” In only 15 months the team, consisting of over 20 highly motivated and experienced employees, was able to complete the entire bench-scale laboratory including state of the art gas purification, an external gas supply and 4 PP and 3 PE reactors.”

Photo: The new reactors are being used for PE polymerisation. The first test samples were produced. (Alexander Krajete, Michael Benisch).

More Information: www.borealisgroup.com

Borealis AG, Vienna, Austria


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