Parallel Catalyst Screening Unit

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Client Perspective

We wanted to screen catalysts more quickly by moving from one stand-alone unit to a parallelised reactor system. This had to be down safely and accurately without creating more work for the operator. We needed a system that was efficient as well as rapid.

We choose ILS because they understood our needs very well and offered a competitive price. The communication was very open and productive. They came up with innovative approaches, and our research is now much more cost effective. ILS designed what we needed.

Olivier Miserque, Total

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ILS Solution

Total came to ILS with a request to be able to test novel polyolefins synthesis catalysts in a highly parallelized fashion. Both Ziegler-Natta and Metallocene-based systems were to be used. In particular for Metallocene systems, the absence of air and moisture is critical to insure that the ligands are not immediately oxidized and destroyed. ILS came up with a unique design, which allows for the user to fill pre-dried glass vials with solvent and catalyst in an inert glove-box environment. The unit is designed in such a way that a parallel needle system, continuously purged by nitrogen, adds monomer to the reactors. By pressurizing inside and outside the crimp-caped glass vials, they can be used up to very high pressures. The product slurry is completely contained within the vials meaning that there is ZERO cleaning requirement after reaction. The unit was fully-automated using a Siemens process-control system, fully-compliant with Total’s own in-house standards.