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Business and Technology of the Global Polyethylene Industry

Business and Technology of the Global Polyethylene Industry

By Thomas E. Nowlin 

The history of the business and technology that was responsible for the enormous growth of the global polyethylene industry from the laboratory discovery in 1933 to reach an annual production of over 75 million metric tons in 2012 and become the leading plastic material worldwide. Business and Technology of the Global Polyethylene Industry is an in-depth look at the history of the scientists and engineers that created the catalysts and the methods used for the modern commercial manufacture of polyethylene and its products.

Business and Technology of the Global Polyethylene Industry outlines the processes used for the manufacture of polyethylene are reviewed which include the high-pressure process and the three low-pressure processes; slurry, solution and the gas-phase methods. The techniques used to fabricate polyethylene into end-use products are reviewed with a discussion of blow-molding, injection molding, rotational molding,  blown-film, cast-film and thermoforming are also discussed in detail.

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Preface

This book, Business and Technology of the Global Polyethylene Industry, is an in-depth look at the history, technology, catalysts, and modern commercial manufacture of polyethylene and its products. Primary emphasis has been placed on documenting the history of the important technical developments over the past 80 years, and the scientists and engineers responsible for them, that have led to continued growth in the polyethylene industry—from the manufacture of a few hundred tons of polyethylene in 1940 to the manufacture of over 160 billion pounds of polyethylene in 2012. The book is dedicated to the thousands of scientists and engineers that have been involved in research, development, manufacturing and fabrication of polyethylene since its discovery in 1933. The role of these industrial scientists was to translate scientifi c results into practical innovations for
commercial purposes which have greatly contributed to an improvement in the standard of living of people around the globe. Each of the seven chapters is written to appeal to a wide range of individuals that are involved in the polyethylene industry today. Chapter 1 is an overview of the polyethylene business, written as an executive summary, which may appeal to anyone interested in understanding the status of the global polyethylene industry today and the factors that may lead to the continued growth of the industry over the next half-century.
Chapters 2, 3 and 4 discuss each of the three catalyst types used today to manufacture polyethylene, with Chapter 2 devoted to titanium-based catalysts; Chapter 3 to chromium-based catalysts and Chapter 4 to singlesite catalysts. Th ese chapters would primarily appeal to scientists that are involved in developing ethylene polymerization catalysts. Chapter 5 is a summary of the processes used to manufacture polyethylene, which includes the tubular and autoclave high-pressure process and the three methods that operate at relatively low-pressure—the slurry process, gas-phase process and solution process.

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