Leading edge technology from Basell is expected to improve products for traditional market applications such as BOPP film and packaging in general.

“It has been 20 years since Spheripol technology began to revolutionise the way PP was produced,” says research and development president Anton de Vries. “And to think we are really only just getting started with Spherizone.

“There has been a lot of improvement but the basic manufacturing technology has remained the same, a continuous circulating loop encompassing a single polymerisation zone. “The multi-zone circulating reactor process changes all that by applying catalytic cracker technology.”

First envisioned in its current layout in 1998, the new technology has moved forward to commercial production in a relatively short period of time.

Following testing in Basell’s Ferrara pilot plant, the new process has now been commercialised in a 160kt unit at Brindisi, Italy that came on-stream in August.