History of UNIPOL™ PE Technology

UNIPOL™ PE Technology – A Heritage of Innovation

For more than half a century, this revolutionary PE process technology has proven its versatility and robustness time and again with its steady expansion of capabilities, leadership in single line capacities, and innovative new products, becoming a touchstone for the global polymer industry. Here’s how:

1972: Chemopetrol becomes the first 3rd party licensee of UNIPOL™ PE Process for HDPE

The Revolution Begins with HDPE

The low-pressure gas-phase UNIPOL™ PE Process for producing HDPE became a reality in 1968 with the start-up of Union Carbide’s prototype G-1000 plant in Seadrift, Texas. Through the years, UNIPOL™ PE Technology has expanded to encompass the full range of HDPE products from conventional to advanced performance, unimodal to bimodal – all in a single-reactor platform.

1977 – Texas, USA: World’s 1st UNIPOL™ PE Plant for LLDPE starts up

Expanding Capabilities to LLDPE

In 1977, the UNIPOL™ PE Process took a significant step forward by expanding the technology envelope to encompass LLDPE – an all-new class of polyethylene. The new production method was so advanced it required only half the capital cost and a quarter of the energy of the standard high-pressure LDPE method, while delivering improved products. With this innovation, UNIPOL™ PE Technology popularized a new class of PE – “LLDPE” – and the market began to recognize the advantages of LLDPE over conventional LDPE. Today, Univation’s LLDPE portfolio includes high-performance conventional LLDPE products as well as advanced performance metallocene grades.

1989 – Texas, USA: LP-5 UNIPOL™ PE Reactor - at the time the single largest PE plant with 225 kTA capacity

Single-line Capacity Growth

A hallmark of UNIPOL™ PE Technology is its versatility. The mechanical simplicity engineered into every part of the process gave rise to the ability to dramatically increase output capacities. In 1989, Union Carbide’s LP-5 reactor in Seadrift, Texas, became the world’s largest single-reactor PE plant at 225 kTA. Proven, single-line capacities of 650 kTA are now in operation, and even existing lines can achieve significant capacity expansions  through Univation’s UNIPOL™ PE Capacity Expansion Technology (CET).

Today: UNIPOL™ PE Process R&D Complex located in West Virginia, USA and home to UNIPOL™ PE Advanced Process Control Group

Technology for Today and Tomorrow

Today, UNIPOL™ PE Technology powers more than 190 licensed UNIPOL™ PE Process lines around the world, accounting for approximately one third of the world’s PE production. Furthermore, Univation Technologies proudly backs every one through an extensive technology portfolio of products, catalysts, and supporting services. And, Univation scientists and engineers are working on the next generation of products and technologies with an unwavering commitment to innovation, looking ahead to the next 50 years with a continuing focus on delivering “Proven Designs. Limitless Possibilities.”


Let Univation’s experts assist you in exploring all the opportunities with UNIPOL™ PE Technology for your new PE projects or your existing UNIPOL™ PE Plant.