Oil and Natural Gas has filed a patent for a polypropylene based nucleating agent masterbatch. The masterbatch is a composition of polypropylene, a nucleating agent, and optionally a dispersing agent. The invention aims to provide a masterbatch that can be added to any grade of polypropylene, is easy to handle, and has improved dispersion in the base polypropylene. GlobalData’s report on Oil and Natural Gas gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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Oil and Natural Gas's grant share as of September 2023 was 27%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Polypropylene nucleating agent masterbatch for improved dispersion in polypropylene

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230312873A1) describes a nucleated polypropylene masterbatch composition and a process for its preparation. The composition includes a polypropylene with a melt flow index between 1.5 to 40 g/10 minutes, a nucleating agent, and optionally, a dispersing agent. The dispersing agent is a non-ionic surfactant. The polypropylene can be a homopolymer and is present in an amount ranging from 40 to 99.9 wt. %. The nucleating agent, bis-2-hydroxyethylene terephthalate (BHETA), is prepared from the depolymerization of waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and is present in an amount ranging from 0.1 to 60 wt. %. The dispersing agent can be selected from tween 20, span 60, span 80, or any combination thereof, and is present in an amount ranging from 0.01 to 10 wt. %.

The patent also describes a process for preparing the nucleated polypropylene masterbatch composition. The process involves mixing the polypropylene with the nucleating agent and optionally adding a dispersing agent to form a reaction mixture. The reaction mixture is then fed through a hopper into an extruder, with temperature maintained from the feeding zone to the die zone of the extruder. The extrudates coming out of the extruder are cooled using a water-bath and then granulated. The granules are dried to obtain a polypropylene masterbatch. The polypropylene used in the process can be a homopolymer and is present in an amount ranging from 40 to 99.9 wt. %. The nucleating agent, BHETA, is present in an amount ranging from 0.1 to 60 wt. %. The extruder used can be a twin-screw extruder, and the masterbatch can be prepared in a batch mixer, micro-compounder, single screw extruder, or any other processing equipment.

The patent also mentions various temperature ranges for different steps of the process, such as maintaining a temperature range of 150-300°C in the extruder and a water-bath temperature range of 25-30°C. The drying of the granules is performed in an oven at a temperature of 90-110°C for about 2-3 hours. The polypropylene masterbatch can be further diluted to various concentrations using the extruder and dilution can be performed in a batch mixer, micro-compounder, single screw extruder, or any other processing equipment. The concentration of the nucleating agent can be diluted in a range from 250-20000 ppm in polypropylene to prepare nucleated polypropylene. The nucleated polypropylene obtained from this process shows a crystallization temperature ranging from 115°C to 122°C, which can be varied by adjusting the concentration of the nucleating agent, dispersing agent, and processing methods.

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