The most widely and commercially important polymers are polyolefins. Serving in important day-to-day functions, this class of materials continues to grow yearly. Our polyolefin team is one of a handful worldwide dedicated to the unravelling polyolefin microstructure and improving existing analytical techniques. Whether you are developing a new product, synthetic pathways, trying new catalysts or recycling existing materials, we are your knowledge partner. In addition, we possess the necessary experience and a motivated research team to develop methods that can be adapted to sample needs.
2021 – 2024
Advanced Separation and Characterization of Chain Walking Polyethylene.
2021 – 2023
Branching design in polyolefins by catalyst variation. Theory meets experiment.
2015 – 2020
Structure-property correlations in recycled polyolefins.
2023 – 2024
State-of-the-art high-temperature size exclusion chromatograph (HT-SEC) equipped with refractive index/ultraviolet/infrared (RI, UV, IR respectively) detection systems as well as multiangle laser light scattering (MALLS) and viscometry detectors.
Our group is part of a handful worldwide and the only one in Africa capable of performing advanced chemical composition separations of polyolefins with techniques such as crystallization analysis fractionation (CRYSTAF), crystallization elution fractionation (CEF), temperature rising elution fractionation (TREF), and interaction chromatography (IC).
For detailed structural elucidation of new and existing polyolefin materials, coupling to information-rich detectors or further separation techniques is required. Chromatographic techniques can be hyphenated online or offline to infrared spectroscopy. The LC-transform interface is one of our reliable instruments for offline coupling of chromatographic separation techniques to infrared (IR), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). IC can be reliably coupled to fast SEC in comprehensive high temperature two-dimensional liquid chromatography (HT-2D-LC) to relate chemical composition and molar mass parameters.
Our group is renowned worldwide for polyolefin fractionation using preparative techniques such as temperature rising elution fractionation (p-TREF), solution crystallization fractionation (p-SCF) and molar mass fractionation (p-MMF). We also possess the flexibility to deal with difficult samples which are in product development. Most equipment can be quickly built inhouse and used efficiently for fractionation.