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Challenge <p> Seeking New Sulfur Scavengers</p>

Seeking New Sulfur Scavengers

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 105
Posted: Dec 04 2017
Challenge ID: 9934051
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The Seeker is looking for novel compounds and chemistry to act as sulfur scavengers in lubricants, in order to stop the corrosive effect of active sulfur species.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.  


In the lubricant industry, a range of sulfur containing additives are often used as a component of a lubricating oil. These include metal sulfonates, sulfur heterocycles, phosphorus/sulfur derivatives and sulfur carriers.  Sulfur carriers act as antioxidants and extreme pressure agents.  Depending on how these sulfur-containing additives are synthesised these may contain a mixture of active and inactive sulfur species. 

Active sulfur species are those that contain sulfur atoms with only S-S bonds, e.g. the species R-S-S-S-R’ has one active sulfur atom and two inactive sulfur atoms.  Active sulfur is very reactive with copper and leads to corrosion, hence the reason to render them inactive. Known methods (metal deactivators) fall short in that they only mask the active sulfur, meaning that these will become active again once the deactivator is consumed/reacted.

The Seeker is looking for novel compounds and chemistry to act as sulfur scavengers. This is a fairly well-known challenge that the lubricant industry has yet to efficiently solve. Hence, the Seeker appeals to Solvers from outside this industry to submit new and original ideas that have worked elsewhere and have the potential to address this issue.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 3, 2018. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

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 submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

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:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

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.

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