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Mar 6, 2019

New Catalyst System for High ­Performance Polymers

Life Sciences, Chemical Process

  • Superior method for the polymerization of Michael-type based monomers
  • New versatile catalyst system
  • Cheaper, fasterand greener process

Your contact

Dr. Rebecca Kohler

+49 (0) 89 5480177 - 33
Reference Number:
B75246 | B74151 | B76002 | B76107 | B76177


The polymerization of Michael-type monomers is a well-known and common technology – ­however, with several limitations. Radical initiated polymerizations are difficult to control with regard to tacticity and dispersity of polymers. Moreover, challenging monomers with ­bulky substituent groups are difficult to polymerize and can currently only be obtained either in low yields or with time and cost consuming processes. Known methods also often require catalysts based on noble metals or rare earth metals which are very expensive and ­detrimental to the environment.


The innovation comprises a new implementation process for (meth)acrylates and analogous ­Michael-type monomers (e.g. acrylonitrile, vinylphosphate, vinylpiperidine, lactones, lactides and lactames) to form high performance polymers. These premium plastics are important for many sectors of commerce, such as automotive, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or functional textiles.

A highly effective catalyst system (TOFs up to 115.000 h-1) is used, which enables to ­overcome the disadvantages of the conventional free-radical or anionic preparation methods.

Commercial Opportunities

The innovative catalyst system is based on commercially available main-group element compounds, thus not requiring the use of toxic and/or expensive subgroup element catalysts. The catalyst system impresses with its broad range of application. The innovative syntheses offer substantial advantages when compared to conventional processes:

  • Fast reaction & maximum efficiency
  • Highest precision, simple and controlled reaction guidance
  • Cost reduction (cheaper educts and catalysts)
  • Synthesis of a wide range of polymers
  • Conversion of so far not polymerizable monomers
  • First catalytic acrylonitrile polymerization (e.g. for carbon fibers)
  • Catalytic “tuning” of polymers (e.g. attaching photoluminescent groups)

Development Status

Established method on a laboratory scale.


  • Reference:
    1. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201802075
    2. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b04129

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