Polyethylene as a Cosolvent and Catalyst Support in Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization

Jakkrit Suriboot, Christopher E. Hobbs, William Guzman, Hassan S. Bazzi, David E. Bergbreiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Polyethylene oligomers (PEOlig) can be used as cosolvents and sometimes soluble catalyst supports in ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) reactions. As a catalyst support, this polyolefin serves as an N-heterocyclic carbene ligand for a ROMP catalyst, making it soluble at 70 °C and insoluble at room temperature. As a cosolvent, unfunctionalized PE oligomers facilitate quantitative separation of PEOlig-bound Ru-catalyst residues from polymer products. In these cases, the insolubility of the unfunctionalized polyethylene (Polywax) and its entrapment of the PEOlig-supported Ru residue in the product phase at room temperature afford ROMP products with Ru contamination lower than other procedures that use soluble catalysts. These separations require only physical processes to separate the product and catalyst residues - no additional solvents are necessary. Control experiments suggest that most (ca. 90%) of the Ru leaching that is seen results from Ru byproducts formed in the vinyl ether quenching step and not from the polymerization processes involving the PEOlig-supported Ru complex. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5511-5516
Number of pages6
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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