Linear alpha olefins is a term used to describe single, unsaturated carbon chains consisting from four up to more than 20 carbon atoms having the double bond at the end of the chain.
The short-chain linear alpha olefins are mainly used as co-monomers for the production of polyethylene and polypropylene.
Adding linear alpha olefins to the above-mentioned polymers increases flexibility and strength in the end product. 1-butene and 1-hexene are the most commonly used co-monomers for polymer production. However, in the meantime 1-octene and 1-pentene have also found their way to the polymer producers.
The medium and longer chain length linear alpha olefins are used in the production of synthetic lubricants and detergents. Long chain linear alpha olefins can be used as lubricants or drilling liquids.
Linear alpha olefins are either produced by the oligomerisation of ethylene or by separating them from CtL (Coal to Liquid) product streams. Linde Engineering is active in both areas of technology.
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