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Challenge Transforming Nitrate Esters into Stable Compounds

Transforming Nitrate Esters into Stable Compounds

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 117
Posted: Apr 01 2019
Challenge ID: 9934112
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In order to significantly slow down or stop oxidation of lubricating oils, the Seeker is looking for compounds that can decompose or inactivate nitrate esters without producing free radicals and/or unstable products.

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


Lubricating oils are important for the automotive industry due to their capabilities in reducing friction between surfaces and minimizing wear. However, the conditions during engine operation are favourable to oxidation and can result in the degradation of lubricating oils and shorten their useful life. This process is associated with the formation of nitrate esters in the lubricant, which then decompose into free radicals that initiate oxidation. Thus, the Seeker is looking for compounds that can decompose or inactivate nitrate esters without producing free radicals and/or unstable products, hence breaking the observed link between nitration and oxidation.  

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 May 1, 2019

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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