Technology Profile: Polypropylene Carbonate Production
By Intratec Solutions |
This column is based on “Polypropylene Carbonate Production – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/polypropylene-carbonate-production-cost.
Polypropylene carbonate (PPC) is a thermoplastic polymer produced from the catalyzed copolymerization of carbon dioxide (CO2) and propylene oxide. The copolymer chain is composed of alternating segments of CO2 and propylene oxide, along with small amounts of propylene oxide homopolymer. Some of its important properties include excellent transparency, good barrier to water and oxygen, printability and nontoxicity.
PPC offers important environmental advantages: it acts as a sequester for CO2, which can help minimize the impact of global warming, and some PPC composites are designated as biodegradable materials.
The present analysis discusses an industrial process for PPC production comprising four major sections: (1) polymerization; (2) phase separation; (3) monomer separation; and (4) pelletizing and finishing (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The diagram shows the production of PPC from propylene oxide and CO2[/caption]
Polymerization. Fresh CO2 feed is mixed with recycled CO2 from the monomers separation stage. Propylene oxide…