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Help us develop a new technology in order to separate close-boiling isomers more cost effectively
math & sciences chemical engineering
top 6
27 months ago
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A chemical manufacturer has a byproduct stream from an adiponitrile process that consists of an isomeric mixture of close-boiling, unsaturated, short-chained nitriles (branched and linear), such as 2-pentenenitrile. 

Traditionally, distillation has been used to separate these isomers. This is an expensive process that leads to higher material cost which subsequently limits the number applications in which these molecules can be used. 

An alternative technology is sought to the current distillation process that can separate these close boiling isomers more cost effectively. 

The manufacturer is currently seeking existing or early, unproven ideas for further consideration. Proposers of ideas found to be of interest may be contacted for further paid consultation to discuss. 


Please submit your great idea for an alternative technology to the current distillation process that can separate close boiling isomers more cost effectively. Consider the following when submitting your solution:

  1. Your idea should at least have the potential to be commercially viable at scale.
  2. We hope to develop a lower cost process to separate chemical side streams so the material can be sold instead of wasted.
  3. Winning solutions will be well researched, clearly articulated, and detailed in response.

Note: We do not require a functioning prototype or proof of concept, we need a realistic and feasible concept to spark a larger discussion.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • 1-10 Scale
Reward Tiers
6 Winners
will receive $133 each
$133.30 N
$133.30 Square pic 60 10626807 10207341015504890 6811826923145228635 n Murray State University
$133.30 B University of Illinois
$133.30 T
$133.30 Square pic 60 38197 McGill University
$133.30 E University of Waterloo
Submission questions

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