Biuret Reduction in Aqueous Urea Solutions

Request Number REQ9364785
Due Date March 16, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Biuret Reduction in Aqueous Urea Solutions
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing an Equipment and Systems Manufacturer and New Technology Provider, seeks technology approaches (mechanisms, processes, formulations) for the reduction of biuret concentration in aqueous urea solutions. A simple, low-cost method is needed to improve the quality of small-volume (< 100L) aqueous urea solutions by reducing the concentration of biuret. Technical approaches that can be applied to mobile systems are of most interest to this RFP.


Biuret (C2H5N3O2) is an intermediate formed during the production of urea, and is a byproduct of the degradation reaction of urea to ammonia. It is found in nitrogen-based fertilizer formulations as an impurity, and inhibits plant growth. Biuret is present in aqueous urea solutions.


Large-scale, commercial urea purification is well established and utilizes various technologies, such as crystallization, with large capital expense and footplan requirements.  However, these solutions are not cost-effective for small-volume applications (< 100 Liters), where the end-user may require additional removal of the biuret from the aqueous urea solution prior to use.  Therefore, an advanced technology is desired for the treatment of aqueous urea solutions that either removes biuret or converts it to an innocuous substance.


Key Success Criteria

The technology must meet the following criteria:

  • Effectively reduce the component of biuret in urea solutions ideally by a factor of 10+. For example, if the initial mole ratio of biuret to urea is 1:100, then the technology solution will yield a final mole ratio of biuret to urea of at least 1:1000.
  • Be applicable to small scale systems (and, ideally, mobile systems) and volumes less than 100L.
  • Not require any consumables or potential contaminants.  For example, solutions that require the continuous or periodic addition of a consumable material (such as a liquid-phase organometallic catalyst) are not acceptable, as they will introduce additional operating costs and potential contamination of the final aqueous urea solution.
  • The solution will be stored and used at temperatures below 70oC, and will come into contact with plastic (storage) and stainless steel.
  • The proposed solution must be tolerable to typically impurities found in urea and aqueous urea solutions to the levels noted in the applicable ISO standards


A possible example solution is a catalyzed adsorbent bed (or filter) that selectively adsorbs the biuret from the solution and catalyzes its conversion to urea or to an innocuous substance that then desorbs back into the solution.


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-consumable reactive materials (such as catalysts) to convert biuret to urea or an innocuous molecule in solution
  • Materials or mechanisms to selectively adsorb biuret
  • Other filtration or conversion mechanisms


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Solutions that require consumable materials (e.g., they require continuous or periodic addition of a consumable material, or regular replacement of a filter)
  • Solutions that introduce other potential contaminants
  • Approaches that are not applicable to small volume (<100L) processing and production
  • Approaches that only adsorb and accumulate biuret


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Contract Analysis and Testing
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), laboratories, entreprenuers, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company, university, or laboratory that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent an academic institute that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.

You represent a urea supplier that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a technology transfer agency that represents an inventor or technology holder who can demonstrate an approach to address the request.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped concept with a high probability of success.


Area of Interest
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