Studies estimate that 76% of the plastic weight produced worldwide becomes waste and only 9% is recycled. Braskem has a strong desire to address this environmental issue and increase post-consumer recycling (PCR). However, the current recycling process is limited because it does not allow to fully remove from the plastic residual chemicals (related to the previous use of the plastic) that leave an unpleasant odour in the recycled plastic. Hence, Braskem is challenging Solvers to propose innovative processes to address this matter.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and sample delivery.
Post-consumer plastic waste is the waste produced by the consumer at the end of the supply chain and product lifecycle. Studies estimate that 76% of the plastic weight produced worldwide becomes waste and only 9% of this waste is recycled. Braskem has a strong desire to address this environmental issue and increase post-consumer recycling (PCR). For this Challenge, the focus is on PCR of packaging, usually a short life use of plastics.
One of the main bottlenecks in PCR is the diverse origin of packaging and, consequently, the presence of a wide range of residual substances from products such as food, cosmetics, or detergents; in addition, substances inherent to the plastic such as residues of monomers, oxidation products, hydrolysis and/or decomposition chemicals are also present. With current technology, these substances are not fully removed leaving an intolerable and unpleasant odour in the recycled plastic, even when present only in traces. Therefore, Braskem is challenging Solvers to propose innovative processes to fully remove the odour from PCR plastics.
The submission to the Challenge should include the following:
The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.
To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker an exclusive license under the terms described in the Challenge-Specific Agreement.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 30, 2018. Late submissions will not be considered.
ABOUT THE SEEKER
Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the largest producer of polypropylene in the United States. Its production focuses on polyethylene (PE), including the green polyethylene produced from the sugarcane, from 100% renewable sources, polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) resins, in addition to basic chemical inputs such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, chlorine, soda, and solvents, among others. Innovation is part of Braskem's DNA and the company wants to accelerate this process by bringing disruptive solutions beyond its corporate universe.
What is an RTP Challenge?
An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.