Producing Low Sodium, Low Sulfur Pseudo Boehmite Suitable as Binder and Carrier for Catalysts

Request Number REQ8324336
Due Date October 12, 2016
Author Jos Cenens
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Producing Low Sodium, Low Sulfur Pseudo Boehmite Suitable as Binder and Carrier for Catalysts
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a major chemical company, invites proposals for a method to produce pseudo/low crystalline-boehmite (AlO(OH)). The most important feature of the method is to provide a low sodium, low sulfur AlO(OH) beneficially with high pore volume (> 0.5 ml/g) and high crush strength after forming and calcination of the boehmite to gamma alumina (γ-Al2O3) and/or alpha alumina (α-Al2O3). The successful technology will be used to produce supported catalysts suitable for a range of applications.


γ-Al2O3 and/or α-Al2O3 has many industrial applications especially in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. Boehmite (AlO(OH)) is a cost-effective starting material for the production of these Al2O3 . Moreover, its calcination into γ-Al2O3 can be done at relatively low temperatures (~500°C).  Several procedures exist for the preparation of boehmite, and especially of boehmite with low crystallinity since crystalline boehmite usually gives lower-surface area γ-Al2O3. NineSigma’s client wants to identify cost affordable methods to make low crystalline boehmite as a precursor towards especially high surface area γ-Al2O3. The final material must also have a high pore volume that will allow bulky chemicals to enter the pore system.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

Selected technologies will be evaluated in a client specified setting. Initial costs and manufacturing aspects will be assessed.


Phase 2 – Pilot scale development

Further verification of the technology by upscaling for pilot plant trials


Phase 3 – Commercialization


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:


  • Be able to produce large volumes of pseudo Boehmite at an affordable cost (target < €3/kg)
  • Peptization index > 95%
  • Result in γ-Al2O3
    • With a pore volume: BET surface area > 150 m2/g
    • Crystallite size 3 – 10 nm
    • Particle size (d50) 30 – 50 microns
    • Have a low content of remaining impurities/process chemicals:
      • low sodium (Na2O <100 ppm);
      • low sulfur (SO4 < 100 ppm);
      • low iron (Fe2O3 < 100 ppm);


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:


  • Improved classical precipitation processes
  • Flash calcination processes
  • Hydrothermal processes
  • Novel processes


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:


  • Methods based on the alkoxy route,
  • Methods based on the sulfate route (high sulfate)
  • Materials containing toxic elements and heavy metals
  • Methods using high alkaline earth metals


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Consulting
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Data to support claims if available
  • Challenges to be overcome and development plan
  • Timeline and conditions to provide/prepare a sample for a few hundred gram
  • IP status and options for exclusivity
  • Brief description of proposing organization and related experience


Area of Interest
Request Priority
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