Naphtha is one of the crude oil distillation products, bringing almost the lowest value-addition to crude oil, compared to other refinery products such as liquid petroleum gas, gasoline, and diesel. However, Naphtha can be converted to one of the highest value products at the end of the value chain, i.e., polyolefins. Although the production of conventional commodity polyolefins from crude oil, is considered as one of the final products in alkenes’ value chain, there are specialty polyolefins with higher values. Specialty polyolefins are small volume, high-performance thermoplastics with high-profit margins compared to traditional commodity polyolefins. Recently, some special purpose functionalized polyolefins have been developed as efficient substituents for high-performance engineering thermoplastics. Polyolefins are exploited as cost-effective platforms to produce these functionalized thermoplastics. They are promising candidates for replacing high-performance polymers with high-cost raw materials and elaborate production processes. So, functional polyolefins have introduced a new paradigm in the production of high-performance thermoplastics, extending the alkenes’ value chain and increasing profitability. High-performance specialty polyolefins may find exceptional markets in niche applications. In this chapter, the commercial specialty and functional polyolefins’ current situation and prospects are reviewed.
Part of the book: Alkenes