SynchUp! is initiated by REWIN

Prevention of plastic pellets loss across the value chain

Challenge closes in:

2021-05-21 17:00


Dow is looking for a solution to help all parties in the value chain load bulk trucks with zero pellets loss.

Around 1 million ton of different type of pellets are loaded yearly at Industry Park Terneuzen. This means that daily over 200 trucks are loaded. With the current loading method a small fraction of this prime material ends up as a loss. The spilled pellets fall down near the loading area, but also on tires, fenders and other parts of the trucks, and can then potentially spread everywhere. Obviously, the partners at the Industry Park do not want these pellets to end up the environment so the operations teams manually clean-up the area with special vacuum cleaners. In addition, substantial investments are to make sure that the pellets end-up back in the system.

Among others, the Industry Park tenants, including Dow, invested in so called blow off installations. These installations prevent the spilled pellets to remain on and be transported on trucks and lost somewhere else in transit. The costs of such installation are considerable and not all partners in the value chain, including distributors, warehouses and terminals, where loading takes place are in a position to pursue such investment. . 

To mitigate pellet loss in an efficient and cost effective way, Dow has decided to sponsor a challenge to develop a solution to load bulk trucks with zero pellets loss, which can be implemented at every loading system through the whole chain with a lower investment need in comparison to blow off stations. 

There are several causes of the plastic granules (pellets) spilling, the main one being that granules bounce out of the truck when loading. In this challenge, Dow is looking for a solution to prevent this. They use an open loading system, which is important because in this way the operator has a view of the loading process and can ensure that the truck is fully loaded. Dow is looking for a mechanical solution that makes the system closed, without obscuring this ‘view’.
There are about 300 loading silos in Terneuzen and even 1000+ in Europe. Therefore, Dow is not looking for a complete redesign of the system, but for a retrofit solution.

Dow and its plastic producing and handling partners are part of Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), which is an international program designed to prevent resin pellet, flake and powder loss and help keep this material out of the environment. This challenge is supporting the Operating Clean Sweep efforts of Industry Park Terneuzen and the entire plastics industry.

What are we looking for?
Dow strives to find an innovative method to enhance the bulk truck loading process and prevent pellet losses. 

Must haves:

  • The solution of technology provided must be able to load 100 percent of the pellets exiting the silos.
  • Solution needs to be flexible to different trailer heights.
  • The solution may not negatively impact the loading capacity.
  • Significant backloading impact must be avoided (no solution which significantly delays the loading process).
  • It must be an (semi-)automatic or at least ergonomic solution as the loading takes place at a certain height.


Nice to have:

  • Provide a solution that can be integrated to the existing system.
  • Cost effective and ability to leverage.
  • Solution is not requiring operator labor (all automatic).

Some individual solutions are currently available within the market that do not completely address the issue. We are looking for a turnkey solution.

Solutions may be found in the area of: smart loading, vibration, magnetic, ultrasonic, static/electric technologies, pressure related. A combination of technologies may be interesting to explore.


What aren’t we looking for?
We are not looking for changes to the current bulk trailers and trucks. We are also not looking for a complete redesign of the loading system, but for a retrofit solution. Solutions to clean-up the pellets after they are spilled are not wanted either.


What’s in it for you?
Our industry experts are available to assist in the collaboration. We can facilitate subsequent piloting and further scale up if the technology is promising.

A suitable solution opens the door to the organizations participating in Operation Clean Sweep, with high potential follow-up. Dow and industrial partners are willing to help establish the right contacts.

More information about Operation Clean Sweep can be found on:


How can BioVoice benefit you?

  • An innovation contract with a launching customer/partner!
  • Funding (€10,000 vouchers, to be spent in the regional ecosystem for e.g. testing, lab and demo facilities, IP consulting, etc.)
  • Coaching and counselling
  • A stage and free publicity
  • Knowledge and contact with experts
  • Access to a network of potential partners & customers, resources and research facilities


The BioVoice programme

BioVoice is an initiative of REWIN West-Brabant, Green Chemistry Campus, the joint Rabobanks of Southwest Netherlands and the province of North Brabant. Dockwize, Impuls Zeeland, Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy and Midpoint Brabant have also joined as implementation partners. Together, we want to give innovative entrepreneurs and up-and-coming biobased/circular talents the space and opportunities to develop and market their idea/product, so as to achieve our common goal: accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy. BioVoice is made possible by financial contributions from the Regional Deal for Central and Western Brabant, the Province of North Brabant, the Province of Zeeland and Rabobank.  


Conditions of participation

We are looking for a partnership to develop a technology that can be used or implemented in the current loading system and shared with Operation Clean Sweep partners worldwide. The solution needs to be available for implementation in a short time frame (1-3 years).


Your pitch (max 6 pages / 18 slides)

  • Concept description: Describe your concept in as much detail as possible.
  • Pilot description: Please provide a brief description of what it will take to prototype and/or pilot and what you will need from us to do so.
  • Team description: Provide a brief description of the company and team that plans to work on the pilot.

There are no formal requirements for the pitch (presentations, slide decks & letters are all allowed), apart from the fact that it must be uploaded as a PDF file (A4, landscape or portrait) with a max. size of 30MB. Videos, example websites and so on can be included as links.  



  • 29 March ’21: Challenge launch – open for applications
  • 21 May ’21 – 5:00 pm: Challenge deadline – sign up no later than 5 pm
  • 4 June ’21: Longlist announced – A longlist of start-ups/scale-ups that are invited to meet the challengers is announced
  • 14-25 June ’21: Digital introduction meetings with challengers & participants + information session about confidentiality and IP
  • 2 July ’21: Shortlist announced based on interviews – A shortlist of start-ups/scale-ups that will be given the opportunity to work on an innovation contract is announced
  • 5-11 July ’21: Make schedule & working agreements + coordinate NDA if necessary
  • 12 July through 6 October ’21: Challenge weeks – sessions with challengers, participants & coaches to arrive at an innovation contract
  • 29 September ’21: Apply for vouchers – submit draft innovation contract + apply for vouchers
  • 6 October ’21: Vouchers awarded – submit final innovation contract + vouchers are awarded
  • 14 October ’21: Match event – celebrating the innovation contracts and partnerships + presentation of vouchers
  • 15 October ’21: Start of development & collaboration (pilot)



If you have any questions about this challenge, please head to the contact options below. For more information about the challenge program, click here.  


Background information

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

Dow has been active in the Benelux since 1955. The company currently employs approximately 4,000 employees at eight major locations in the Netherlands (Terneuzen, Delfzijl and Dordrecht) and Belgium (Antwerp, Brussels, Tertre, Zwijndrecht and Seneffe), including six production locations that supply products to customers in consumer care, infrastructure and the packaging industry.

Plastic offers many advantages. For example, plastic packaging keeps food good for a longer period and reduces spoilage on the “farm to table” journey. Thanks to the introduction of lightweight but durable plastic materials, cars use less fuel, emit less C02 and are safer and more comfortable. But if plastic ends up in our natural environment, that’s a problem. Dow therefore has a strategy that aims to find ways in which we can maintain the convenience, protection, affordability and safety of plastic, while also ensuring that no plastic ends up in the environment or is lost in landfills or in our surroundings.

Dow is committed to the Operation Clean Sweep initiative, ensuring that zero pellets end-up at the environment. More information about Operation Clean Sweep can be found on:

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