Analysis of impurities

Analysis of impurities in polymer-grade ethylene, propylene and 1,3-butadiene

by Surinder Thind,
Applications Chemist


Producers of high purity monomers need to measure, not only, more and more impurities in their high purity product, but also, they need to measure these impurities at lower and lower detection limits. This paper describes the latest technique available to perform these analyses at low ppb levels with high levels of accuracy and speed. Both laboratory and on-line detection is possible.

The Critical Nature of Impurity Analysis:

The production of poly-ethylene and poly-propylene has become a very competitive business. Producers utilize more selective and more sensitive polymerization catalysts all the time. These catalysts are very expensive, and frequent replacements may lead to a loss. During catalyst replacement, the plant is shut down, which further adds to losses. In order to avoid frequent shutdowns due to catalyst poisoning, these companies insist that monomer producers meet tight specifications regarding such poisonous impurities. Failure to comply can result in lawsuits and loss of business. For this reason, impurity analysis has achieved critical importance.

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