Transition Metal Catalyzed Olefin Polymerization: A Combined Computational and Experimental Approaches

Chromium based catalysts such as Phillip’s catalyst are widely used in the production of polyethylene materials, specifically high density polyethylene. Despite their widespread and successful use, there is still much that is unknown about how exactly these catalysts work and interact with other catalysts. New research has been done that has indicated the chromium vanadium catalysts may be very effective. This is important as it could change the way much of the worlds plastic is produced. This research project seeks to determine whether a synergetic effect (positive relationship) exists between the two different active sites of the catalysts. This will be done by using the density functional theory, along with kinetic evaluation and mathematical modelling of the polymerization kinetics. The outcome of this project will hopefully yield a better understanding of how the two active sites of these catalysts work together. At some point in the future this may help the production of polyethylene become more efficient.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jesse Zhu


Andrew Cottrill



Engineering - chemical / biological



Western University


Globalink Research Award

Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects