Patents by Inventor Francis C. Rix

Francis C. Rix has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20240092947
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to supported catalyst systems for olefin polymerization, catalyst system precursors, methods of producing the precursors and catalyst systems and polyolefins formed from the catalyst systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: March 21, 2024
    Inventors: Lubin LUO, Francis C. RIX, Kevin A. Stevens, Chi-l KUO, Xiaodan ZHANG, Jacqueline A. LOVELL, Charles J. HARLAN, Xuan YE, Brian R. BERG
  • Publication number: 20240076427
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of methylating a catalyst composition while substantially normalizing the entiomeric distribution is provided. The method includes slurrying the organometallic compound in dimethoxyethane (DME), and adding a solution of RMgBr in DME, wherein R is a methyl group or a benzyl group, and wherein the RMgBr is greater than about 2.3 equivalents relative to the organometallic compound. After the addition of the RMgBr, the slurry is mixed for at least about four hours. An alkylated organometallic is isolated, wherein the methylated species has a meso/rac ratio that is between about 0.9 and about 1.2.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2023
    Publication date: March 7, 2024
    Applicant: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Alexander D. Todd, C. Jeff Harlan
  • Publication number: 20240018278
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to processes for forming alumoxanes and catalyst systems thereof for olefin polymerization. In at least one embodiment, a process includes forming a solution by, in an aliphatic hydrocarbon having a boiling point of less than about 70 degrees Celsius, introducing at least one hydrocarbyl aluminum with at least one non-hydrolytic oxygen-containing compound and a support material. The molar ratio of aluminum to non-hydrolytic oxygen in the solution is greater than or equal to 1.5, and the combining is conducted at a temperature of less than about 70 degrees Celsius. The process includes distilling the solution at a pressure of greater than about 0.5 atm to form a supported alumoxane precursor. The process further includes heating the supported alumoxane precursor to a temperature greater than the boiling point of the aliphatic hydrocarbon fluid and less than about 160 degrees Celsius to form a supported alumoxane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: January 18, 2024
    Inventors: Francis C. RIX, Charles J. HARLAN, KyKA LE, Xiaodan ZHANG
  • Publication number: 20240010660
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a precursor for making an activator in a catalyst system for olefin polymerization and methods of producing the precursor, the catalyst system, and the polyolefin. In at least one embodiment, an alumoxane precursor includes (i) the reaction product of at least one non-hydrolytic oxygen-containing compound and at least one hydrocarbyl aluminum; and (ii) an aliphatic hydrocarbon fluid. The reaction product can be identified by first set of signals in an 1HNMR spectrum in a region from about 4.5 ppm to about 5.1 ppm and a second set of signals in a region from about 5.1 ppm to about 6.5 ppm. The ratio of the first to the second set of signals is greater than or equal to about 2.8. The alumoxane precursor is easy to store and ship compared to MAO, which is an intermediate product in conventional methods for forming supported alumoxane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: January 11, 2024
    Inventors: Francis C. RIX, Ky KA LE, Charles J. HARLAN
  • Publication number: 20230416418
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides aromatic-solvent-free supported catalyst compounds and catalyst systems comprising asymmetric bridged metallocenes containing a ligand having at least one saturated ring, catalyst systems including such compounds, and uses thereof. These supported catalyst compounds and catalyst systems can be used to prepare polymer comprising no aromatic solvent.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: December 28, 2023
    Applicant: EXXONMOBIL CHEMICAL PATENTS INC.
    Inventors: Nikola S. LAMBIC, Francis C. RIX, Lubin LUO, Charles J. HARLAN, An Ngoc-Michael NGUYEN
  • Publication number: 20230406868
    Abstract: A method including: preparing an alumoxane precursor from an organic oxygen source, a hydrocarbyl aluminum, and an organic solvent; heating the alumoxane precursor to form an alumoxane suspension; removing solid methylaluminoxane from the alumoxane suspension by filtering the alumoxane suspension to form a filtered solution; and combining the filtered solution with a support to form a supported alumoxane precursor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: December 21, 2023
    Inventors: Francis C. RIX, KY KA LE, Charles J. HARLAN
  • Publication number: 20230391801
    Abstract: A method including: contacting a support material including absorbed water with trimethylaluminum (TMA) in an aliphatic hydrocarbon; removing the aliphatic hydrocarbon by distillation at a pressure greater than or equal to 0.5 atm; heating, at a temperature ranging from about 25° C. to about 200° C., a reaction product of the support material and the TMA in a presence of TMA, wherein the TMA includes TMA in an amount of about 2-10 mmol TMA per gram of the support material in excess of an amount that reacts with the support material absorbed with water; and removing excess TMA.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2021
    Publication date: December 7, 2023
    Inventors: Francis C. RIX, Lubin LUO, Ky KA LE
  • Patent number: 11739169
    Abstract: It has become desirable to limit or exclude aromatic solvents, such as toluene, from polymerization reactions. For polymerization reactions employing a non-metallocene transition metal complex as a precursor to a polymerization catalyst, exclusion of aromatic solvents may be difficult due to the limited solubility of such complexes in aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents. Aliphatic hydrocarbon solutions suitable for conducting olefin polymerization reactions, particularly solution polymerization reactions, may comprise: a non-metallocene transition metal complex dissolved in an aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent at a concentration ranging from about 2 mM to about 20 mM at 25° C. in the presence of an organoaluminum compound. A molar ratio of aluminum of the organoaluminum compound to transition metal of the transition metal complex is about 1:1 or greater, and the organoaluminum compound comprises at least about 8 carbons per aluminum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2023
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Hagadorn, Peijun Jiang, Francis C. Rix, Charles J. Harlan, Jo Ann M. Canich
  • Publication number: 20230250204
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of polymerizing olefins to produce a polyolefin polymer with a multimodal composition distribution, includes contacting ethylene and a comonomer with a catalyst system. The catalyst system includes a first catalyst compound and a second catalyst compound that are co-supported to form a commonly supported catalyst system. The first catalyst compound includes a compound with the general formula (C5HaR1b)(C5HcR2d)HfX2. The second catalyst compound comprises the following formula: wherein each R3 or R4 is independently H, a hydrocarbyl group, a substituted hydrocarbyl group, or a heteroatom group, wherein each R3 or R4 may be the same or different, and each X is independently a leaving group selected from a labile hydrocarbyl, a substituted hydrocarbyl, a heteroatom group, or a divalent radical that links to an R3 group.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2023
    Publication date: August 10, 2023
    Applicant: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Sun-Chueh Kao, Francis C. Rix, Ching-Tai Lue, Mark G. Goode, Dongming Li
  • Patent number: 11708438
    Abstract: A system and method of producing polyethylene, including: polymerizing ethylene in presence of a catalyst system in a reactor to form polyethylene, wherein the catalyst system includes a first catalyst and a second catalyst; and adjusting reactor conditions and an amount of the second catalyst fed to the reactor to control melt index (MI), density, and melt flow ratio (MFR) of the polyethylene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2023
    Assignee: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Timothy M. Boller, Ching-Tai Lue, Francis C. Rix, Daniel P. Zilker, Jr., C. Jeff Harlan, James M. Farley, Fathi David Hussein, Dongming Li, Steven A. Best
  • Publication number: 20230174694
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of polymerizing olefins to produce a polyolefin polymer with a multimodal composition distribution, includes contacting ethylene and a comonomer with a catalyst system. The catalyst system includes a first catalyst compound and a second catalyst compound that are co-supported to form a commonly supported catalyst system. The first catalyst compound includes a compound with the general formula (C5HaR1b)(C5HcR2d)HfX2. The second catalyst compound includes at least one of the following general formulas: In both catalyst systems, the R groups can be independently selected from any number of substituents, including, for example, H, a hydrocarbyl group, a substituted hydrocarbyl group, or a heteroatom group, among others.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2023
    Publication date: June 8, 2023
    Applicant: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Ching-Tai Lue, C. Jeff Harlan, Laughlin G. McCullough
  • Patent number: 11661466
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of methylating a catalyst composition while substantially normalizing the entiomeric distribution is provided. The method includes slurrying the organometallic compound in dimethoxyethane (DME), and adding a solution of RMgBr in DME, wherein R is a methyl group or a benzyl group, and wherein the RMgBr is greater than about 2.3 equivalents relative to the organometallic compound. After the addition of the RMgBr, the slurry is mixed for at least about four hours. An alkylated organometallic is isolated, wherein the methylated species has a meso/rac ratio that is between about 0.9 and about 1.2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2023
    Assignee: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Alexander D. Todd, C. Jeff Harlan
  • Patent number: 11390704
    Abstract: Compositions are provided which include blends of (A) branched and/or bimodal ethylene copolymers and (B) linear ethylene copolymers. The branched and/or bimodal ethylene copolymers may be produced using a dual metallocene catalyst system comprising two different metallocene catalysts: one capable of producing high Mooney-viscosity polymers and one suitable for producing polymers having at least a portion of vinyl terminations. The linear ethylene copolymers may be produced using a metallocene catalyst capable of producing high Mooney-viscosity polymers, which may be the same as such catalyst of the dual metallocene catalyst system. Processes for making such blends, including parallel and/or series polymerization processes, are also provided. The blends may have excellent cure properties suitable in curable rubber compound applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Narayanaswami Dharmarajan, Francis C. Rix, Jo Ann M. Canich, Danica L. Nguyen, Peijun Jiang, Rhutesh K. Shah
  • Patent number: 11352451
    Abstract: Processes are provided which include copolymerization using two different metallocene catalysts, one capable of producing high Mooney-viscosity polymers and one suitable for producing lower Mooney-viscosity polymers having at least a portion of vinyl terminations. The two catalysts may be used together in polymerization to produce copolymer compositions of particularly well-tuned properties. For instance, polymerizations are contemplated to produce high-Mooney metallocene polymers that exhibit excellent processability and elasticity, notwithstanding their high Mooney viscosity. Other polymerizations are also contemplated in which lower-Mooney metallocene polymers are produced, which also exhibit excellent processability and elasticity, while furthermore having excellent cure properties suitable in curable elastomer compound applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Rhutesh K. Shah, Rainer Kolb, Jo Ann M. Canich, Peijun Jiang, Periagaram S. Ravishankar, Syamal Tallury
  • Patent number: 11299567
    Abstract: This application relates to copolymer compositions and copolymerization processes, as well as to lubricating oil compositions comprising such copolymer compositions as viscosity index improvers, and base oil. The copolymer compositions may be made using two different metallocene catalysts: one capable of producing high molecular weight copolymers; and one suitable for producing lower molecular weight copolymers having at least a portion of vinyl terminations, and the copolymer compositions produced thereby. Copolymer compositions may comprise (1) a first ethylene copolymer fraction having high molecular weight, exhibiting branching topology, and having relatively lower ethylene content (based on the weight of the first ethylene copolymer fraction); and (2) a second ethylene copolymer fraction having low molecular weight, exhibiting linear rheology, and having relatively higher ethylene content (based on the weight of the second ethylene copolymer fraction).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignee: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Jingwen Zhang, Rainer Kolb, Andy H. Tsou, Periagaram S. Ravishankar, Jo Ann M. Canich, Francis C. Rix
  • Publication number: 20220002455
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of methylating a catalyst composition while substantially normalizing the entiomeric distribution is provided. The method includes slurrying the organometallic compound in dimethoxyethane (DME), and adding a solution of RMgBr in DME, wherein R is a methyl group or a benzyl group, and wherein the RMgBr is greater than about 2.3 equivalents relative to the organometallic compound. After the addition of the RMgBr, the slurry is mixed for at least about four hours. An alkylated organometallic is isolated, wherein the methylated species has a meso/rac ratio that is between about 0.9 and about 1.2.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2021
    Publication date: January 6, 2022
    Applicant: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Alexander D. Todd, C. Jeff Harlan
  • Publication number: 20210332164
    Abstract: It has become desirable to limit or exclude aromatic solvents, such as toluene, from polymerization reactions. For polymerization reactions employing a non-metallocene transition metal complex as a precursor to a polymerization catalyst, exclusion of aromatic solvents may be difficult due to the limited solubility of such complexes in aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents. Aliphatic hydrocarbon solutions suitable for conducting olefin polymerization reactions, particularly solution polymerization reactions, may comprise: a non-metallocene transition metal complex dissolved in an aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent at a concentration ranging from about 2 mM to about 20 mM at 25° C. in the presence of an organoaluminum compound. A molar ratio of aluminum of the organoaluminum compound to transition metal of the transition metal complex is about 1:1 or greater, and the organoaluminum compound comprises at least about 8 carbons per aluminum.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2021
    Publication date: October 28, 2021
    Inventors: John R. Hagadorn, Peijun Jiang, Francis C. Rix, Charles J. Harlan, Jo Ann M. Canich
  • Patent number: 11142598
    Abstract: Catalyst systems and methods for making and using the same. A method of methylating a catalyst composition while substantially normalizing the entiomeric distribution is provided. The method includes slurrying the organometallic compound in dimethoxyethane (DME), and adding a solution of RMgBr in DME, wherein R is a methyl group or a benzyl group, and wherein the RMgBr is greater than about 2.3 equivalents relative to the organometallic compound. After the addition of the RMgBr, the slurry is mixed for at least about four hours. An alkylated organometallic is isolated, wherein the methylated species has a meso/rac ratio that is between about 0.9 and about 1.2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Alexander D. Todd, C. Jeff Harlan
  • Publication number: 20210284770
    Abstract: A system and method of producing polyethylene, including: polymerizing ethylene in presence of a catalyst system in a reactor to form polyethylene, wherein the catalyst system includes a first catalyst and a second catalyst; and adjusting reactor conditions and an amount of the second catalyst fed to the reactor to control melt index (MI), density, and melt flow ratio (MFR) of the polyethylene.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 26, 2021
    Publication date: September 16, 2021
    Applicant: Univation Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Timothy M. Boller, Ching-Tai Lue, Francis C. Rix, Daniel P. Zilker, JR., C. Jeff Harlan, James M. Farley, Fathi David Hussein, Dongming Li, Steven A. Best
  • Publication number: 20210179827
    Abstract: Provided herein are methods of making blended polymer compositions having enhanced elasticity. The present methods comprise the steps of producing a first polymer composition using a VTP catalyst system, producing a second polymer composition using a HMP catalyst system and combining the first polymer composition and the second polymer composition to make the blended polymer composition. The present methods include blending/combining the polymer compositions produced by different catalyst systems. One such catalyst system includes (i) a vinyl-terminated polymer (VTP) catalyst system comprising a VTP catalyst compound (referred to herein also as a “VTP catalyst”) and one or more activators. Another catalyst system includes a high molecular-weight polymer (HMP) catalyst system comprising a HMP catalyst compound (referred to herein also as a “HMP catalyst”) and one or more activators. The activators of these different catalyst systems can be the same or different in whole or in part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Publication date: June 17, 2021
    Inventors: Francis C. Rix, Jo Ann M. Canich, Rainer Kolb