Centre for Applied Research

R&D focused on new resins, breakthrough innovation and other enhancements

The resins that NOVA Chemicals produces help make it possible for our customers to develop plastic products that make everyday life healthier, easier and safer.  Our work to develop new polyethylene resins starts at the Centre for Applied Research, located in Calgary, Alberta.

The Centre is focused on the development and commercialization of high-performance polyethylene resins, as well as process and catalyst technology to improve our ethylene and polyethylene operations. Our scientists, engineers and technologists are dedicated to new discoveries and inventions from step change improvements all the way to game-changing innovations.

Innovation in Action

Our polyethylene-related research and development at the Centre for Applied Research leverages modeling, an extensive range of labs, robotics, technical scale reactors, and more. Work is focused in three main areas:

  • Product: We collaborate across the value chain to understand the trends and demands that drive new product development. Virtual modeling, technical and pilot scale facilities that mimic our production processes, polymer characterization capabilities and a range of test equipment all come together to enable us to create the polyethylene resins that help address the most pressing needs of our customers – and the industry. 
  • Catalyst: We maintain an active catalyst research and development portfolio, continuously working to develop innovative polyethylene product architectures with enhanced performance and new product application potential. Our Automated Lab accelerates catalyst research and improves employee safety by reducing exposure to ergonomic, chemical, temperature and pressure hazards.
  • Process: We improve asset operating efficiencies by studying how a new resin will function at our production plant and our customers’ lines, while delivering the required performance properties. We use CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to optimize reactors and other pieces of equipment for a systematic approach.

Advanced SCLAIRTECH™ Technology

The flagship NOVA Chemicals process innovation at the Centre for Applied Research is our proprietary Advanced SCLAIRTECH™ technology solution process. This dual reactor process allows us to maximize the capability of our catalyst innovations and produce value-added products for our customers.

Advanced SCLAIRTECH technology has resulted in hundreds of process, catalyst and product/product application patents including a significant number of global publications. Polyethylene made using the dual-reactor technology includes SURPASS® octene LLDPE and HDPE resins that deliver a range of performance properties not found in traditional polyethylenes. Advanced SCLAIRTECH technology also produces our top-of-the-line ultra clean, ultra white SCLAIR resins used in food packaging, caps and closures and other demanding applications.