Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Seeking Sustainable Feedstocks for Carbon Black

Request Number
Due Date
Jul 10
Program Manager


Licensing, product acquisition, contract research, proof of concept leading to scale-up to manufacturing, joint development, supplier agreement


Opportunity to participate in a portion of a $17 billion-dollar annual market


Phase 1 – Proof of concept in 6-12 months

Phase 2 – Commercial development in 12-36 months


Phase 1 – Proof of concept funding commensurate with proposed activity

RFP was closed on
Jul 2019

RFP Title


Seeking Sustainable Feedstocks for Carbon Black
RFP Description

NineSigma, on behalf of a global leader in the manufacture of high-value carbon products, invites proposals for novel, sustainable or recycling-derived feedstocks suitable for producing carbon black.


Carbon black is a crystalline form of carbon with a partially disordered lattice.  It has a high ratio of surface area to volume and a low polycyclic aromatic content.  Carbon black is a key ingredient as a reinforcing filler in tires and rubber and as a pigment in plastics, paint, and ink.

NineSigma’s client currently manufactures carbon black from the incomplete combustion of petroleum oil or tar.  They seek alternative feedstocks that take advantage of renewable (plant) sources or recycled materials.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Lab-scale demonstration or feedstock evaluation

Phase 2 – Commercial development

  • Manufacturing Optimization
  • Application Testing and Development

Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Enable a feedstock with
    • Carbon content ≥ 50 wt %
    • Low sulfur content < 5 wt %
    • Preferably, high aromatic carbon content
  • Ideally use renewable or recycled materials
  • Be cost effective at commercial scale
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying suitable renewable feedstocks
  • Recycling existing materials
  • Novel processes to use renewable or recycled materials
Approaches not of Interest
  • Use of non-renewable feedstocks, e.g. existing hydrocarbon reserves
Items to be Submitted

Your response should not contain any confidential information.

NineSigma’s client will evaluate all responses and choose those of greatest interest for direct discussions that could lead to contractual engagement for proof of concept demonstration or other commercial arrangements with selected respondent, to develop or adapt promising technologies or approaches.

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including feedstock composition (carbon content, aromatic content, and sulfur content)
  • 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 production capacity
  • Estimated unit cost of raw material (US$/ton)
  • Position on intellectual property (patent granted, patent pending, trade secret) including patent references (if available)
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

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

  • You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.
  • You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.
  • You represent a company or university that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.
  • You represent a company or university 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 pathway with a high probability of success.
Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest