Do you have a novel, more efficient technique for turning our liquids into free-flowing powders?

Background

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals produces various products in the liquid phase which are supplied to the market as a powder. For many applications our customers require these products to be dry, non-hygroscopic, and free-flowing.

Examples of these products include:

  • Powders which are dried emulsions that can be redispersed in water, restoring the product properties of the original liquid
  • Chelates and micronutrients which are used in applications such as household cleaning and agriculture
  • A range of personal care products

The performance and ease of handling of these materials are highly dependent on the drying process. These drying processes include techniques such as precipitation, crystallization, and spray drying.

Converting a liquid to a powder often involves multiple process steps in order to achieve the desired properties. Final product properties depend on structure, particle size, particle shape, or surface treatment. Given the increasing demand for more advanced product technology, traditional drying techniques no longer provide the complete answer and we need new approaches to keep meeting the needs of our customers.

Issues to consider

We are looking to further optimize our drying processes in terms of waste, energy, storage stability of the powder, and sustainability. Irrespective of the drying technique used, final products need to meet certain specification and performance criteria after drying, such as bulk density, particle size distribution, and flowability.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for solutions that may fit a range of technologies that we can use to make the production of our dry powder range products more efficient. The technology may cover one or more of the folowing aspects: crystalization control, particle size and shape control, or particle hygroscopicity control.

Both process and chemical modification approaches are in scope, provided they are cost-effective. We are looking for both completely new technologies as well as for differentiated common drying technologies.

Criteria

We are looking for all solutions fitting the scope. Aspects we evaluate the ideas on when selecting for the Imagine Chemistry finals include: 

  • Contribution to sustainability: energy saving or otherwise contributing to the sustainability profile of the end product
  • Economic feasibility and fit with existing facilities
  • Fit to current AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals technologies and markets
  • Impact of the idea in the short term (revenue, quality, scalability, time to market, etc.); technology should have a clear scope for implementation  
  • Quality of the team behind the idea

Do you have the answer?

If you think you have an efficient technique for turning our liquids into free-flowing powders, we welcome you to join our Challenge on our Imagine Chemistry Challenge platform for open and collaborative innovation.

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