The global interest in making polymers from carbon dioxide (CO2) is huge due to the utilisation of a waste product that is harming the climate.
Norner has during the last years been active in the research of polymerisation of CO2 to form polymer. The development has resulted in a basic design of a new continuous process, including a simplified purification step.
The further plan is to find the right consortium to build a small scale pilot for production of polycarbonates and further to commercialize the technology. The projects have focused on several critical aspects including additivation, catalyst, process efﬁciency and application testing. Norner has a team of experts as well as polymerization facilities in-house for further developing the technology.
Technologies utilising CO2
The interest in making polymers from CO2 is huge due to the utilisation of a waste product that is harming the climate, as well as the substitution of petro based raw materials which are more costly than CO2. Such polymers substitute 35-45% of the hydrocarbon based raw material with CO2.
Norner has developed a position as a recognized player in the emerging «Carbon Capture and Use» industry. In this regard, Norner has developed technology since 2008, building up knowhow within this ﬁeld as well developing a number of technology concepts supported by patent applications.
Poly(propylene carbonate), PPC, is produced by the copolymerisation between the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and propylene oxide in the presence of a catalyst. PPC is an environmentally friendly material that needs to be considered for much broader applications than the current limited commercial use. New interesting properties can be achieved with Poly(cyclohexane carbonate) PCHC due to its Tg above 100 0C.
Norner provides environmental benefits utilising greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) as raw material
PPC with increased thermal stability¹
The thermal properties of PPC poses a challenge as the polymer has a low glass transition temperature (softening) as well as is prone to degradation especially when containing catalyst residues. In a recent scientific article, Carlos Barreto Soler (PhD) discusses ways to overcome these hurdles, by Norner’s own purification and stabilisation technology.
In fact, PPC may be puriﬁed without the use of organic solvents, and the thermal properties may be tailored to be dramatically increased compared to today’s scientiﬁc and industrial benchmarking PPC materials. Norner’s novel procedure renders the PPC thermally stable at 200 °C for ca 60 min, thus expanding the processing window for PPC.
Blends of PPC with PP or PE
PPC is a material with significant opportunities, but with some limitations. One limitation that is well known is its use in conventional thermoplastic applications due to a low glass transition temperature, Tg, and a low decomposition temperature. One way to overcome this limitation, and speed up the time to market for PPC, is by the use of blends and multilayered solutions with conventional thermoplastic resins (PE and PP).
Blends with other biobased polymers and nanomodified polycarbonates have also shown interesting properties Injection Moulding.
The injection molding should apply the same temperature recommendations as given for the compounding step above. Blends and injection moulded items of PPC and polyolefins with up to at least 50% content of PPC can be made. The stiffness can be modified with the content of inherent plasticizer, propylene carbonate (PC).
PPC has superior melt strength compared to conventional polyolefins, as illustrated. This is an advantage with respect to parison and blow moulding performance. The barrel, die and melt temperature should hold the same temperature recommendations as given for the compounding step above.
1. Novel solventless purification of poly(propylene carbonate). Tailoring the composition and thermal properties of PPC. Carlos Barreto, Eddy Hansen, Siw Fredriksen, Polymer Degradation and Stability, Volume 97, Issue 6.June 2012.