Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is withdrawn and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge Briquetting of Coal Fines

Briquetting of Coal Fines

Award: $15,000 USD
Deadline: Withdrawn
Active Solvers: 125
Posted: Mar 13 2018
Challenge ID: 9934102
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The Seeker is looking for a method to make <3 mm coal fines into briquettes ~25mm x 20mm x 18mm in size that can last through the tumbling and temperature of a rotary kiln.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, a demonstration of capability and samples from the Seeker’s material, if requested.


The Seeker has a process that uses a rotary kiln to reduce iron ore with non-coking coal. The coal in sizes from 3-25 mm works, but the smaller particles (<3 mm) or “fines” are wasted in the reactor as they get airborne and are burnt up without reacting. The Seeker would like to screen out the fines and make briquettes that could survive the tumbling and temperature of the rotary kiln such that they could take part in the reduction reaction. A method to make briquettes with the proper strength and properties is required. Binders/additives could be used, but they must not chemically interfere with the reaction, the kiln or increase impurities significantly in the product.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. A detailed description of your proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. A demonstration of your ability to briquette coal using Solver obtained samples.
  3. If the Seeker finds suitable candidates, they will provide samples for testing the solutions.  

Receipt of a Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive a Challenge award, you, the Solver, will have to transfer to the Seeker your exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 11, 2018. Late submissions will not be considered.

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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.

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