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Professor Paolo Galli
is considered one of the most influential
scientists in the industry of plastic materials
and related technology.

He is one of the most successful figures in the
opening of new frontiers in the polymer
science and applications in the last 50 years.
Main Achievements

Scientific and managerial activity

Prof. Paolo Galli's scientific and managerial activity is universally acknowledged to have given the fundamental contribution to the new 'high yield' catalysis (H.Y.) technology - from the first discovery of H.Y. catalysts in 1968, to their industrial and commercial promotion and success - made possible by the launching of new industrial processes and their respective products, the promotion of the patenting activity and the expansion of new markets. He was recognised the merit of having fundamentally supported the creation, development and industrial achievements as the new technology in all the fields in the world both from a scientific evolution a technological and managerial one.

The most important contributions are summarised as follows:

1. Technological and scientific innovation revolutionising the respective sectors, creating a turning point in polyolefin and EPDM rubber technology in the world.
2. Setting up the organisation and management of the new basic research school on catalysis of polymerisation processes and products, taking the world by storm.
3. Creation of the global Montedison/Himont/Montell technological system.
4. Unfailing support for Montedison processes and industrial products with a determined technical and operative support, during moments of major crises.
5. Promotion and instigation of industrial projects of major significance and strategic relevance in the polyolefin and EPDM rubber sector.

(The most detailed description of 1-5 points is reported in Appendix (A))

The following are considered as important aspects of his activity which have had the deepest impact from a technological and managerial scientific point of view.

The discoveries with a revolutionary capacity and great innovative potential, that have distinguished the Ferrara research Centre scientific activity managed a by him and which have imposed themselves key-discoveries for the development of new technologies on polyolefins.

The main attention and commitment devoted to the focalisation and solution of environmental problems, dominant reason and conductor of all the technological development promoted by him since the beginning of his carrier. The research directed by him was really in a pioneer direction long before time, he sensed that in the creation of new industrial processes and new products, it was necessary to consider the total respect of the environment as a main objective, since it was a fundamental requisite also for the industrial and commercial future success. The balanced and synergetic combination of the pair, scientific-technological innovation and environmental improvement, has resulted to be the determining factor to the leadership affirmation of Italian Technology in the world.


The great intuition that industrial research grows and develops only if it is aware of the necessities and social needs. He states, "We do not invent and make products, but properties".
Customers become part of the innovation process and the new "tailor-made" products. The incredible performances of the research centre make world-wide companies, working in the packaging, fibre, consumption goods, biomedical and car fields, turn to Ferrara. Prof. Galli uses the "comakership" model, inspired by a collaboration between producers and suppliers aimed at the optimisation of the final product. Consequently, the name of the "Giulio Natta Research Centre" becomes gradually known throughout the world as the most technologically advanced polyolefins research field. This is what has given the major contribute to the starting and development dynamic of these materials and technologies world-wide. Today, with hundreds of patents throughout the world, Ferrara with its "Giulio Natta" research centre, is considered as a global leader in polyolefins and hosts scores of technicians and managers from different countries and cultures, supplying a strong input to the local economy.

There are numerous publications regarding Prof. Galli and his Ferrara research team, just to mention one, as an example, the book "Breakthrough!" by Nayak and Ketteringham (Rawson Associates, New York), quotes Prof. Galli as:


Science and technology

Prof. Galli's personal contribution in terms of innovation is universally recognised as the basis of the beginning and development of a new revolutionary polyolefin technology and is why the "G.Natta" Research Centre holds its current prominent position in the world of technology.

Listed are some of his more important and original personal contributions:

1. The fundamental contribution is the invention of the high-yield catalysis for the polymerisation of alpha-olefins, first achieved by identifying the type, role and chemical nature of the ideal support in the creation of all new high-yield catalysts: the MgCl2 in active Delta form.

2. The scientific identification, explanation and placement of the replica phenomenologies of the catalyst introducing a true "NEW DIMENSION" to catalysis, revolutionising technology. He created the scientific basis and set up the industrial development of this fundamental technological "breakthrough", which gave the plastics industry a new push.

3. The conception and the creation of the "Ideal Catalyst" for olefins polymerisation, the fundamental basis for the development of all the new polymerisation processes of Montedison /Himont/Montell.

4. The concept of the theoretical model and the technological development of the "Reactor Granule", providing the fundamental premise and scientific basis for the technological and commercial development of processes based on "Reactor Granule Technology": Spheripol, Spherilene, Catalloy, and Hivalloy.

5. The concept and development of new breakthrough technologies:
a) "Mixed catalysis" which permits the use of "Reactor Granule Technology" for all catalytic systems of polymerisation of the homogeneous type, no longer limited to Ziegler-Natta catalysis.
b) The innovative "Multizone Circulating Reactor" with its revolutionary impact on the concept of all the new generations of polymerisation processes and products.

6. Understanding the structural model and setting up of research on polymeric alloys, the technological and commercial development of the early polypropylene alloy-based manufactured goods in the auto industry and the production of a novel generation of Polyolefin-Based Bumpers that have revolutionised the auto-industry world-wide.
Indeed, Prof. Galli not only conceived the theoretical foundations of novel thermoplastic materials, but also successfully mastered the industrial processes required for their mass production as well as pioneered one of the most original and successful applications for these materials: car bumpers. It was due to Prof. Galli's vision of the more resilient and shock-absorbent capabilities of polypropylene over steel, and then his stubborn pursuit and promotion of that concept which ultimately persuaded FIAT to roll out the world's first ever plastic automobile bumper (the FIAT 128 model launched in 1972), a landmark in the car industry which quickly became the norm and expanded from just the bumper area of the vehicle to the whole shock-absorbing front-facing and back-facing sections of automobiles and even trucks. For further details see Appendix A - The Plastic Bumper: A Breakthrough in the Automobile Industry ."

7. The conception and research of an early generation of biodegradable materials based on the blending of polyolefins and agriculture - sourced starches, and the related manufacturing technologies to allow mass production for application primarily in the packaging industry.

Industry and management

His most important contributions from a scientific-industrial and managerial point of view have mainly been in the development and the full support of all the industrial projects described hereafter. He has co-ordinated every single project, planning from the laboratory studies to the development of the processes, the products and the relative applications in the pilot phase, up to the industrial scale till the full commercialisation, for the following technologies:
  • High yield catalysts Polyethylene process at the Brindisi plant; (1st example in the world of a Polyethylene plant operating with the high yield catalysts for the production of high and medium density polyethylene).
  • Polypropylene homopolymer produced with the diluent process and high yield catalysts in the Brindisi, Feluy (B), La Porte (TX) plants; (1st example in the world).
  • Crystalline, heterophasic propylene-based copolymers with the diluent process and high yield catalysts in the Brindisi and La Porte plants; (1st example in the world).
  • Polypropylene crystalline homopolymers and heterophasic propylene-based copolymers with the novel, revolutionary hybrid liquid monomer/gas phase Spheripol process, using spherical form high yield catalysts first in the plants of Brindisi, Ferrara, Terni, Feluy (B), Bayport (TX), Lake Charles (LA), Varennes (Canada), Antwerp (B). Spheripol process has been licensed to all the most important PP world producers and covers today over 60% of the total world PP production.
  • EPM and EPDM rubbers with the slurry process on the plants in Ferrara and Orange (TX), the latter for the B. F. Goodrich company; (first example in the world of EPDM plant operating in liquid monomer).
  • High yield catalysts with high stereospecificity, on the plants in Ferrara; (1st example in the world).
  • Synthetic polyolefinic paper, called Ferlosa, in the Ferrara plant; (1st example in the world).
  • LLDPE with high yield catalysts in the high pressure process in the plant in Priolo (Syracuse).
  • PCMA (Polypropylene Composite Materials and Alloys) in the Ferrara, Brindisi, Bayreuth (D), Milton Keynes (UK), Varennes, East Brunswick (N.J.), Taiwan plants.
  • Spherilene process in Bayport and Lake Charles; (1st example in the world.)
  • Catalloy process in Ferrara, Bayport and Moerdijk (N.L.); for a complete gamut of PO alloys).
  • Hivalloy process in Lake Charles; (1st example in the world of a plant for the production in synthesis of a large gamut of PO and polar monomer alloys).
He has directed the strategy and the Patent activities issuing more than a hundred patents for the Montedison / Himont / Montell companies. Currently, thanks to the Montecatini/Himont/Montell Licensing activity, 90% of all the polypropylene production in the world is made with Montell/Basell processes or under its patent licences.