Plastics News staff reporter Frank Esposito wrote the following items from the Flexpo 2001 conference, held Aug. 21-23 in Galveston, Texas.
ExxonMobil pushes propylene plastomers
ExxonMobil Chemical Co. is moving to commercialize a line of propylene-based plastomers produced at its Baytown, Texas, plant.
Houston-based ExxonMobil produced pilot-plant samples of the metallocene-catalyzed material in 1999 but ``is ramping up more aggressively'' in 2001, sampling into a wider range of applications and increasing the number and frequency of its pilot runs, according to Doug Selman, the firm's vice president of technology.
Selman said the plastomers offer excellent elongation and elasticity and have been tested in film, wire and cable and numerous other markets, but no date for full commercialization has been set.
Nova to make LLDPE at new Alberta plant
Nova Chemical Co.'s new polyethylene plant in Joffre, Alberta, will launch production of linear low density PE this fall.
The 850 million-pound-capacity plant opened in April and began commercial production of high density PE in July, according to Paul Clark, Nova's vice president of research and technology. The plant has swing capacity that can be used for either HDPE or LLDPE.
Production at the plant, which produces enhanced grades of PE made with Nova's Advanced Sclairtech process technology, was delayed for a year because of mechanical and engineering problems and a labor shortage.
Borealis A/S testing metallocene PE, PP
European polyolefins leader Borealis A/S is producing test runs of metallocene-based linear low density polyethylene at a plant in Finland and expects to commercialize the material in early 2002.
Borealis initially will market the material into film applications, according to Johan Von Knorring, the firm's vice president of research and development.
Borealis also is testing metallocene-based polypropylene at plants in Finland and Austria but has no date set for commercialization, Von Knorring said.