Innovation

Open innovation Challenge

New Applications wanted for a Natural Spherical Absorber

Our special cellulose particles are natural, biodegradable and microplastic-avoiding carrier materials that help processors protect, utilize or transform their ingredients without compromising on their performance and processability.

Evonik is looking for new innovative ideas to expand the field of application of special cellulose particles and to enter new markets with this product. 

Evonik  is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €15 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.38 billion in 2021. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life, today and tomorrow.

The Silica business line of Evonik is the globally leading silica producer and offer a broad portfolio of particle design solutions. We give our customers essential technology that works from the inside out and therefore offer a broad portfolio of particles (e. g. precipitated silica, fumed silica, and metal oxides) for demanding applications in different markets.

The Challenge

Our special cellulose particles are natural, biodegradable and microplastic-avoiding carrier materials that help processors to protect, utilize or transform their ingredients without compromising on their performance and processability.

In this challenge, Evonik is looking for new innovative ideas to expand the field of application of special cellulose particles and to enter new markets with this product beyond pharma application.

Can you answer one of the following key questions? Then do not hesitate and take part:

What new applications (other than pharmaceuticals) could be developed with spherical cellulose particles in their current form (no change in current performance properties or manufacturing process)?

In what applications would round, natural materials be needed as absorbents?

What use cases benefit from a high loading/release capacity of a natural absorbent?

How can special cellulose particles support the path to sustainability?

Product

Spherical Cellulose particles consist of 90% native cellulose and 10% binder, making it a highly porous natural material.

The properties of spherical cellulose particles are:

  • Spherical particles with narrow particle size distribution
  • Porous agglomerate
  • Mechanically stable in dry form
  • Smooth or rough surface possible
  • High Loading/release capacity: 1-1.2 g(oil)/g(cellulose)
  • Flowability unloaded: very good (angle of repose of approx. 30°)
  • Flowability loaded: ok (angle of repose of approx. 45° with 15 w% plant oil loading)
  • Bulk density: 300 kg/m3
  • Residual humidity: 6 w%
  • Average particle size (dv50): 180 µm
  • Specific surface area: 10 m2/g
  • Particles disintegrate in water

 

Typical Applications:

Our special Cellulose particles are currently used as absorbent agent (carrier) in pharma applications.

But we could imagine, that participants in this challenge could find innovative applications in food/personal care formulations for e.g., controlled release, taste masking, protection or increased impact/functionality of aromas/flavors and additives. The particle system could also be used in other applications such as oral care, 3D printing, agriculture, household care or coating additives.

Ideas for pharmaceutical applications are explicity not the subject of this challenge.

Idea submission

Each submission must address at least one of the key questions listed above and include the following information:

  • Short summary of your idea
  • What customer needs does it address?
  • Detailed technical description of the idea ( best with drawings, references and examles)
  • Technical and/or commercials benefits and limitations of your solution
  • What market potential could your idea have?
  • Potential collaboration partners for development, scaling up, testing and implementation

 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

The evaluation criteria are defined as follows (ranking from 0 – 10, all criteria have the same weight):

  • Creativity: The proposal is unknown to Evonik so far in the way that it shows a high degree of creativity and represents a new approach for Evonik from the application side
  • Probability of technical and commercial success: If the proposed concept is successfully implemented, there is a high probalility of technical and commercial success. 
  • Quality of idea proposal: The idea proposal is well explained and contains clear description of what is planned to be done, how and with what resources (e.g. project plan draft, responsibilities, funding, others)

 

Form and volume: accepted all forms of contributions up to 3 MB (videos, documents, presentations, etc.)

Legal

The following link will provide you with important information on the conditions of participation and data protection. Please take note of them.

Award

Evonik will award a total of 5T€ between the three most innovative concepts and invite the awarded teams for an idea pitch and discuss a potential cooperation in the field with the Silica team.

DEADLINES

October 31st, 2022

Announcement of the winning concepts: 21 days after submission deadline.

Support needed

Please contact us at oi@evonik.com