Technologies

Technology portfolio

As a leading provider of innovative chemicals and plastic solutions, Borealis develops technologies that make a long-lasting impact. While building on the achievements and experience gained in over 50 years in the industry, Borealis keeps discovering. Together with its joint venture Borouge, Borealis also keeps discovering new, innovative ways of creating next-generation, value creating products to meet customers' needs on a global scale.

Having its roots in the polyolefin area Borealis controls a sound technology portfolio spanning from the catalyst (Borealis Sirius Catalyst Technology), to process (Borstar®), product and application (Borlink™). Combining core competence with leading technologies Borealis develops value-adding solutions, tailored to the end-use application. The design process always starts with understanding and interpreting the needs of the whole value chain from polymer to end user. Borealis' ambition is to master the translation of customer requirements into polymer structures and ultimately into novel innovative products.

Borealis is an user of several technologies for hydrocarbon and fertilizer processing. We are constantly supporting our production units and develop the technologies further in terms of safety, sustainability and operational efficiency. Furthermore we permanently strive to expand our technological footprint

Intellectual property and licensing

Borealis protects production processes, catalysts, materials and end-applications. Its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) team is specialised in knowledge protection, trademarks, contracts, freedom to operate (FTO) evaluations, enforcement and opposition. Borealis technologies are mainly for captive use but Borealis is also seeking selective licensing opportunities for new ventures involving equity sharing.

Technologies

Borstar Technology

What does Borstar® stand for?

Borstar® is Borealis' state-of-the-art multi-modal proprietary technology for manufacturing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Combined with Borealis' unique catalyst technology, Borstar supports the production of a wide range of enhanced PE and PP products for the most demanding applications by enabling molecular design. The Borstar process offers simultaneous improvements in conversion economics and in key environmental aspects, such as energy efficiency and raw material recycling.

Borealis guarantees continued Borstar development and is further commercialising the next generation of Borstar - Borstar PE 3G and Borstar PP 2G. The new developments represent a leap forward in process technology, allowing flexible polymer design from bi-modal to multi-modal PE/PP and facilitating the development of an ever-widening range of new plastics that outperform alternative materials in meeting the needs of manufacturers and end users.

Borstar PE and PP capacity expansion is a core ingredient of the Borealis and Borouge strategy. The most significant growth project entails an increase of Borouge production capacity in Abu Dhabi to 4.5 million tonnes of Borstar polyolefins per year in 2014.


Borstar PP5
 

Scope of Borstar®

The cornerstone of the Borstar technology is delivering innovative product through its efficient and flexible design. Borstar's key components are proprietary polyolefin multimodal process technology and proprietary catalyst systems

The Borstar multimodal polymerisation process enables tailor made polymer materials for demanding applications via:

  • broad ranging polymer design freedom (e.g. molecular weight, molecular weight and comonomer distributions, crystal morphology and tacticity for PP)
  • large product property window and feature combinations (e.g. high strength and processability, stiffness and impact, clarity and toughness)
  • high and consistent quality; supported by a proprietary developed Advanced Process Control (APC)

This makes it possible to create more sophisticated, customer-oriented solutions characterised by a unique property combination.

Why Borstar®?

Borstar delivers what its customers need - consistently superior property products that can be converted into applications which give sustainable value. The Borstar process provides innovative polymers:

  • with both good mechanical properties and good processability
  • in a broad range of product applications (e.g. automotive, pipe, packaging, etc.)
  • at competitive cost and less burden on the environment (e.g. downgauging)

Borstar yields a number of special property and structural benefits which are realised from tailoring the resin's molecular structure in both the PE and PP processes. These include:

  • high environmental stress-cracking resistance (ESCR)
  • long-term creep/burst resistance
  • uniquely high stiffness/impact balance is in combination with add-on functionalities like surface aesthetics and dimensional stability

Borlink Technology

What does Borlink™ stand for?

Borlink is a wire and cable industry-wide platform crosslinking the technology, products and expertise to connect networks and grids as well as people and their access to energy.

The establishment of Borlink represents another step change innovation-. It underlines Borealis and Borouge's commitment to the industry as it provides an outstanding resource to meeting the challenges the industry will face in the future. By establishing Borlink, Borealis and Borouge have elevated their total network of support to a new level by helping to facilitate the linking of different grids and energy sources together both regionally and globally.

Borealis and Borouge are recognised throughout the wire and cable industry as trendsetters for innovation in technology and products. With more than 45 years of experience, they are the reliable partners of choice in offering high quality polyolefins for a wide variety of power transmission and distribution cables as well as electrical and fibre optic communication applications.

Why Borlink™?

As industry leaders, Borealis and Borouge have introduced significant technological advances, as well as establishing top edge quality and purity standards. Key innovation advances of Borlink include a tailor-made high pressure (HP) process for the production of high purity low density polyethylene (LDPE) base polymers with superior electrical properties and the introduction of a closed or controlled loop (from monomer to final packaging) which avoids contamination and ensures homogenous and super clean, high quality compounds.

Applying these technologies enable Borealis and Borouge to deliver a wide range of material solutions such as their unique crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) for high productivity, as well as the first globally available solutions for high voltage direct current (HVDC) XLPE cable applications.

Benefiting from Borlink technology, cables in use for more than 30 years still perform to today's standards and prove the reliability of Borealis and Borouge's solutions. Additionally, at the end of their useful life these cables can be fully recycled in combination with standard PE for a fully sustainable multi-generation life cycle.

Scope of Borlink™

  • Borlink technology platform includes all insulation and semicon power products - for medium and high voltage (including extra high voltage and direct current cable products)
  • Borlink covers the entire technology to produce XLPE power products from monomer to final packaging - with a focus on the wire and cable high pressure process, compounding and peroxide addition.
  • Borlink stands for reliability, continuity and security.
  • Borlink technology platform enables continuous innovation step-changes and grants customers and the value chain prioritised access to the latest innovations.
  • Borlink offers enhanced know-how and services though experienced technical service, product development and electrical lab teams.
  • Borlink is in line with the latest cable industry requirements by setting and fulfilling high level industry standards as well as testing.

Borealis Sirius Catalyst Technology

What does Borealis Sirius catalyst technology stand for?

The Borealis Sirius catalyst technology makes it possible to produce chemical substances – so-called catalysts – engineered specifically for the production of functionalised polymers for Borealis and its customers.

Catalysts are substances required in small quantities for the production of plastics. In value-adding polymerisation processes, catalysts assist in the transformation of simple raw materials into complex molecules which exhibit a variety of properties for diverse applications. To a great extent they determine the final properties of a product, e.g. hardness, plasticity and/or elasticity. Thanks to the high degree of innovation found in this product, the Borealis Sirius catalyst technology is protected by 60 international patents and was recognised by the prestigious Giulio Natta Award in 2012.

Borealis inaugurated a new catalyst plant utilising the Borealis Sirius catalyst technology at their Linz, Austria location in June 2013. The company invested EUR 100 million in the construction of this facility.


Borealis Sirius Catalyst


Scope of Borealis Sirius catalyst technology

The Borealis Sirius catalyst technology makes solid spherical catalyst particles through innovative emulsion based process without external carrier material. It has raised considerable interest in the global polyolefin community because of its ability to improve control of the active site distribution in ZN polymerisation catalysts in a single-step process, resulting in better regulation of polymerisation reactions. Single site catalysts can also be made utilising the Sirius technology, with benefits in productivity and homogeneity across the catalyst particle.

Why Borealis Sirius catalyst technology?

Using a proprietary Borealis Sirius catalyst in the Borstar® process allows for production of superior materials in a significantly more efficient way than with conventional technologies.

Innovations are focused on unique combinations of properties and offer differentiation through a step change in purity, improved optical properties, improved stiffness–impact balance and excellent processability supporting high line speeds. One such example is the superior transparent and soft PP impact copolymers for medical packaging with lower extractables, lower emissions and better retention of mechanical and optical properties in steam sterilisation. Using Borealis Sirius catalyst technology with the advantages described above, Borealis can produce a wide range of catalysts.

Borstar Nucleation Technology

What does Borstar Nucleation Technology stand for?

Based on its proprietary Borstar® technology, Borealis has developed a nucleating approach resulting from its own research - Borstar Nucleation Technology. The nucleating effect of Borstar Nucleation Technology is obtained in the polymerisation reactor (in situ) during the manufacture of polypropylene (PP). This is in contrast to the standard approach of adding a nucleating agent during pelletisation. Borstar Nucleation Technology has a number of advantages compared with conventional nucleation:

  • stronger nucleation effect
  • consistent and better dispersion of the nucleating agent
  • inert and thereby no reaction with other additives such as colour master batches
  • low taste and odour
  • full compliance with food contact regulations


BNT nucleated PP (left) versus non-nucleated PP (right)

Scope of Borstar Nucleation Technology

Borstar Nucleation Technology based PP demonstrates benefits in a range of applications. Important among these are Borealis' portfolio of high performance PP homopolymers and heterophasic polymers for thin wall packaging, automotive, and sewage pipe segments.

The improved stiffness of Borstar Nucleation Technology materials allows for lower wall thicknesses, enabling downgauging of the end product. And, combined with the potential for cycle time and energy reduction, the unique technology allows for smaller carbon and water footprints throughout the value chain.

Why Borstar Nucleation Technology?

Borstar Nucleation Technology advantages transfer into benefits for converters and enable sustainability. The nucleating effect results in higher crystallisation temperature, faster completion of the crystallisation process and fine spherulitic superstructure. Benefits of Borstar Nucleation Technology based PP solutions for converters include:

  • increased stiffness without negatively affecting the drop impact resistance, thus enabling downgauging and thereby material savings
  • up to a 10% reduction in energy consumption through the possibility of reducing the extruder temperature (depending on the equipment at the converter)
  • 10-20% cycle time reduction (mainly through reduction of cooling time and easier demoulding due to faster crystallisation)
  • limited impact of colouring on dimensional stability which allows fast colour change during production without the need to change process parameters

Post Reactor Technology

Based on Borealis' proprietary Borstar® process technology, a range of post reactor technologies are used to add more product functionalities. These include compounding of diverse mineral fillers and glass fibres which significantly extends key polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) properties to enable their use in demanding applications that are crucial for modern society such as automotive, appliances and infrastructure. The Fibremod™ family of engineered short (SGF) and long glass fibre (LGF) compounds is bringing lightweight, temperature resistance, extra strength and impact performance to a wide range of applications.

In addition to Fibremod, the market-leading high melt strength (HMS) PP Daploy™ product generation and technology gives Borealis a leading global supplier position for long chain branched HMS PP. Daploy HMS PP solutions make a significant contribution towards material savings, weight reduction and improved processability for Foam, Coating and Blown Film applications. This enables both sustainability and cost-efficiency advantages for the manufacturer.