Metal alkyls is a class of organometallic compounds that contains a carbon – to – metal sigma bond. Metal alkyl derivatives of transition metal are s – bonded organometallics. There are various routes by which the metal alkyls can be synthesized. They play an important role in the process of the Ziegler-Natta type, single-site, and other specialized catalyst systems. Key metal alkyls include aluminum, lithium, boron, zinc, and magnesium alkyl. Metal alkyls are mostly chemically reactive and flammable. They also react with air or water. Metal alkyls are used in polymer production, synthesis of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and processes for production of semiconductor devices and photovoltaic modules. They are also used in various every day products such as packaging materials, fibers, and adhesives. Metal alkyls are produced by a variety of methods and chemical processes.
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Some of the metal alkyls are Metal alkyls Diethylaluminum Chloride (DEAC), Diethylaluminum Ethoxide (DEALOX), Diisobutylaluminum Hydride (DIBAH), Ethylaluminum Dichloride (EADC), Ethylaluminum Sesquichloride (EASC), Triethylaluminum (TEAl), and Triisobutylaluminum (TIBA). For example, Triethylaluminum (TEAl) is primarily used as a cocatalyst in the Ziegler-Natta polymerization of olefins. It is also used as an intermediate in the manufacture of other organometallic compounds, for ethylene oligomerization in the production of olefins, and for the manufacture of fatty alcohols.
Metal alkyls are used in a wide range of applications. The primary area of application of metal alkyls is polymerization of olefins and dienes by Ziegler-Natta (ZN) catalyst systems. Metal alkyls and aluminoxane are also used as catalyst in various related technologies that are extensions of Ziegler chemistry. These include oligomerization of ethylene, dimerization and cyclodimerization of olefins and dienes, and ring-opening polymerization. Metal alkyls are used in the production of polypropylene, polyethylene, and several types of synthetic rubber. These are then used in consumer products such as plastic packaging, toys, and automotive parts.
Increase in demand for metal alkyls owing to the growth in the polymer sector and chemical synthesis is the key factor driving the market. Metal alkyls are employed as catalysts in the production of polymers, which, in turn, are used in the production of textiles. This is likely to augment the demand for metal alkyls during the projected period. Chemical reactivity to air and water, and difficulty in transportation are the major restraints of the metal alkyls market. High cost of research and development also acts as a key restraint of the global metal alkyls market.
Key participants in the global metal alkyls market include AkzoNobel, Gulbrandsen, Albemarle Corporation, and LANXESS.