The mission of the U.S Dept. of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) is to identify and fund research to translate science into breakthrough energy technologies that are not yet mature enough for private sector investment but may, if successfully developed, create the foundation for entirely new industries. One such research program is Reducing Emissions Using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE). The goal of REMOTE is to develop bioconversion technologies to transform our ability to convert methane (the main component of natural gas) into liquid fuels at small scale and low capital expense (CapEx). One important technology challenge in this area is the energy efficient transfer of gas feedstocks into an aqueous phase for bioconversion at high volumetric productivities.
This ARPA-E Challenge seeks new strategies and approaches to achieving high rates of mass transfer of gas feedstocks in bio-based catalytic reactors (bioreactors), while minimizing the input of energy.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
ARPA-E is looking for new ideas, concepts, and approaches to increase the rate of gas transfer (particularly methane and oxygen) in a bioreactor where bio-based/microbial catalysts are present. Technologies such as bubble columns, forced-air and/or pressurized continuously stirred tank reactors, and U-loop reactors are representative of the current state of technology. Although technically viable, all require significant input energy and CapEx. ARPA-E is particularly interested in solutions requiring minimal CapEx, and which can be cost effective at a range of scales.
This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?
An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.
In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:
Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.