PROGRAM MANAGER: Pamela Semanik
OPPORTUNITY: Licensing, product acquisition, contract research, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing, joint development, supplier agreement.
Phase 1 – Proof of concept within 12 months
Phase 2 – Full implementation at manufacturing site within 2 years
Phase 1-- Proof of concept funding as appropriate
Phase 2 – Funding as necessary, depending on solution.
SOLUTION PROVIDER HELP DESK:
NineSigma, representing a leading manufacturer of coated fertilizer products, invites proposals for technologies that can prevent or reduce the buildup of polymer-based agglomerated materials on a curved steel surface.
Fertilizers are applied to soils to improve their nutrient quality. Fertilizer substrates such as NPKs tend to move quickly into the soil, producing a rush of nutrients that can overwhelm the soil system. Fertilizer producers often coat their products to better control the release of nutrients into the soil.
The sponsor company employs a mechanism by which polyurethane is manufactured-and-applied to the fertilizer substrate in-situ (via a reaction of isocyanate and polyol), forming a thin, even coating around the fertilizer granule. This reaction takes place in a heated, rotating steel drum; either batch-wise, or continuously. Unfortunately, the current process results in the buildup of a polymer or polymer-fertilizer agglomerate material onto the metal surfaces in the drum, which creates a hard coating with a thickness of up to 1 inch. The tenacity of the material requires manual removal, which in turn creates a challenging and unpleasant work environment.
The client is interested in technical approaches that can address the current challenge. Partial solutions are of interest, as well as approaches that may require development. A successful solution to preventing or reducing this material buildup will benefit the client by reducing manufacturing down time, reducing waste, and minimizing difficult work conditions.
Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan Phase 1 – Proof of concept
Phase 2 – Commercial development
Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
To assist interested solution providers, an FAQ document has been provided.
The successful technology will:
Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:
The RFP sponsor has tested a variety of solutions, but is willing to (re)consider proposed approaches that may improve upon any approach, or that may challenge earlier technology assumptions.
To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.
Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:
Other Request information includes:
APPROPRIATE RESPONSES TO THIS REQUEST
Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example: