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Separation of bimodal high density polyethylene using multidimensional high temperature liquid chromatography

: Prabhu, K.N.; Brüll, Robert; Macko, Tibor; Remerie, Klaas; Tacx, J.; Garg, P.; Ginzburg, Anton


Journal of chromatography. A 1419 (2015), Nr.6, S.67-80
ISSN: 0021-9673
Fraunhofer LBF ()
bimodal high density polyethylene; high temperature liquid chromatography

High-temperature two-dimensional liquid chromatography (HT 2D-LC) using HT-HPLC as first dimension and HT-SEC as second dimension holds enormous potential to investigate the distribution according to molar mass and chemical composition of bimodal high density polyethylene (BiHDPE), as it avoids drawbacks of crystallization-based techniques. In this study, we have stepwise optimized the chromatographic parameters of 1D, comprising gradient slope and temperature, using model homo- and copolymers of ethylene with the aim to minimize the impact of molar mass on the compositional separation. Then the HT-HPLC was hyphenated to HT-SEC and optimum conditions for the volume of the sample transfer loop were probed with regard to the resolution of BiHDPE into the individual constituents HDPE and LLDPE. A particular important aspect was the use of infrared (IR) detection, and the demands it puts on the chromatographic aspects: We have shown that IR detection can be successfully applied in HT 2D-LC of BiHDPE, which is broadly distributed with regard to short chain branching and molar mass, only when the separation in 2D is optimized with regard to chromatographic resolution. As final result a bimodality is evident in the contour and the 3D surface plots as well as in both HPLC and SEC projections generated from HT 2D-LC.