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Department of Chemistry

Publication details for Dr Philip W. Dyer

Lamb, M. J., Apperley, D. C., Watson, M. J. & Dyer, P. W. (2018). The Role of Catalyst Support, Diluent and Co-Catalyst in Chromium-Mediated Heterogeneous Ethylene Trimerisation. Topics in Catalysis 61(3-4): 213–224.

Author(s) from Durham


Sequential treatment of a previously-calcined solid oxide support (i.e. SiO2, γ-Al2O3, or mixed SiO2–Al2O3) with solutions of Cr{N(SiMe3)2}3 (0.71 wt% Cr) and a Lewis acidic alkyl aluminium-based co-catalyst (15 molar equivalents) affords initiator systems active for the oligomerisation and/or polymerisation of ethylene. The influence of the oxide support, calcination temperature, co-catalyst, and reaction diluent on both the productivity and selectivity of the immobilised chromium initiator systems have been investigated, with the best performing combination (SiO2−600, modified methyl aluminoxane-12 {MMAO-12}, heptane) producing a mixture of hexenes (61 wt%; 79% 1-hexene), and polyethylene (16 wt%) with an activity of 2403 g gCr−1 h−1. The observed product distribution is rationalised by two competing processes: trimerisation via a supported metallacycle-based mechanism and polymerisation through a classical Cossee-Arlman chain-growth pathway. This is supported by the indirect observation of two distinct chromium environments at the surface of the oxide support by a solid-state 29Si NMR spectroscopic study of the Cr{N(SiMe3)2}x/SiO2−600 pro-initiator.