Solenis awarded patent for use of chemicals in DCO extraction

By Ron Kotrba | November 03, 2014

Solenis, previously known as Ashland Water Technologies, has received a patent for the use of chemical additives to improve the separation of distillers corn oil (DCO) at ethanol plants. The company says its trademarked Dimension corn oil extraction aids can help ethanol producers capture up to three times more oil than extraction methods without its additives. Solenis first filed for a provisional patent in March 2011 and was issued Patent No. US 8,841,469 B2 this September.

With its patent, Solenis now “has the right to exclude others from practicing or inducing others to practice the corn oil extraction method in the U.S.,” the company stated, adding that the patent also covers the use of variations of the chemical additives referenced in the patent.

Solenis says its additives not only increase corn oil yield but also reduce solids in the oil and reduce system deposition, resulting in less downtime for system cleaning and maintenance.

“Our goal is always to drive the profitability of the companies we do business with—and our extraction aids do just that,” said Allen Ziegler, global marketing director of biorefining at Solenis. “We’re not a one-trick product company. We have a full line of products that can benefit our customers—from reducing costs to increasing productivity. On top of that, our process experts are always looking for innovative ways to further build efficiencies. It’s inherent in everything we do.”

Ziegler said in the nearly four years Solenis waited for its patent to be issued after filing, several companies started offering their own corn oil extraction aids, most of which use chemistries covered in Solenis’ patent.

“The reality is that we were first to market with this technology and we have hard data to demonstrate its value, whereas with competitor products there can be significant variances in product performance,” Ziegler said.

Solenis says its extraction aids are biodegradable and generally recognized as safe, and include Kosher-certified products.

Ziegler said some plants may be concerned about Solenis’ ability to supply enough product, but he said the company is addressing supply capacity to ensure uninterrupted delivery.

“Whether customers have a specially blended product or want validation that our technology works the same or better than what they’re currently using, we’ll work with them to get the product they need and the performance they expect,” Ziegler said. “We’re seeking to bring greater value to fuel ethanol plants with our patented and proven technology. But just as important, we want to establish good relationships with those companies.”


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