Borealis, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, has started up a Parallel Pressure Reactor (PPR) research tool, supplied by U.S. R&D integration partner Symyx Technologies, as part of a project to drastically reduce the time taken to develop new materials. The first polymerisation trials were successfully completed on May 30, 2008, at Borealis’ Innovation Centre in Porvoo, Finland. Borealis is investing a total of around EUR 10 million in new R&D tools and a further EUR 60 million in improved infrastructure, which includes new laboratory buildings. The PPR is a fully automated workflow system that comprises 48 mini-reactors, each with a volume of just a few millilitres, which can simultaneously carry out 48 polymerisation experiments in a single day – far faster than current norms. It is ideally suited for catalyst and process research.
Borealis is responding to the ever-increasing need to minimise the time to bring new ideas to market. Current and upcoming investments by Borealis Innotech, its multi-site R&D organisation, are devoted to increasing basic research in polymerisation and process technology as one means of achieving that goal. Key end-use markets such as building and construction, as well as automotive and advanced packaging should benefit substantially from these investments.“This new equipment provides a major step forward for our research community and helps us develop innovations much faster and more efficiently,” says Alfred Stern, Borealis Vice President for Innovation and Technology.