Alternative Materials Giving High Whiteness and Opacity

Request Number REQ1359502
Due Date February 9, 2018
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Alternative Materials Giving High Whiteness and Opacity
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a large manufacturer of natural fiber products, invites proposals for technologies or materials that can serve as an alternative for TiO2 in cellulose based products. The alternative will allow the cellulose based product to maintain its opacity in the final application or end-product after contact/saturation treatment (water-based products, oil-based products, polymers…).


NineSigma’s client is a large manufacturer of natural fiber products and uses thousands of tons of TiO2 in their products every year. This TiO2 is responsible for the white and bright appearance of the final product due to its high refractive index. One of its unique features is that the opacity of this final product is not being influenced by saturation treatment. This means that, when immersing the product into a saturating substance, it does not become transparent but keeps its original white, opaque appearance (applying an oil or water drop on a regular paper sheet has a similar effect).

When considering TiO2 alternatives such as clay, silica, talk, etc., the end-product is able to mimic the appearance of the TiO2 containing specimen in dry conditions. However, applying a saturation treatment to the TiO2-alternative containing product, will remove the air present in the matrix (air has a light scattering effect) and the entire matrix loses its light scattering properties. The result is an almost completely transparent end-product.


The objective of this RFP is to find a material that can replace the TiO2, or novel approaches that result in a significant decrease in TiO2 (minimum reduction of 25%), while maintaining the current opaque properties of the TiO2 containing end-products, in dry and saturated conditions.


Anticipated Project Phases

Phase 1a – Proof of concept (3-6 months)

  • Evaluation of proposed materials. (Small samples to be tested by the client when samples are available)


Phase 1b– Further research & development project for solutions which are at the moment of submission are still in a conceptual/development stage (up to 5 years)


Phase 2 – Commercial technology development (up to 12 months)

  • Upscaling and implementation into commercial products

Key Success Criteria

The successful material has to:

  • Result in a saturated end-product that has, at least, the same opacity as the TiO2 containing product
  • Be white
  • Be able to maintain the liquid absorption properties of the cellulose based material
  • Be compatible with natural, cellulose based fibers
  • Be Lightfast (Minimum of 6 on the Blue wool scale)
  • Be non-toxic

Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel whiteners
  • Air bubble binding scavengers
  • Refractive nanoparticles
  • Novel pigments
  • Refractive organic/inorganic materials
  • Light scattering materials
  • Others…

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

The Statement of Interest form includes a few checkboxes and text boxes for a short description of your material/technology/company. Only non-confidential information may be submitted.

Interest in consultancy: Please provide information of previous achievements to demonstrate your competences and fill in your contact details in the Statement of Interest form.


Please follow this link to fill out the Statement of Interest form.


Please contact Tom Vranken, , if you are interested in submitting a Statement of Interest or if you need assistance with submitting your proposal using the survey.

Area of Interest
  • Packaging
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