Greenshift receives new corn oil extraction patent, sues Westfalia

By Nicholas Zeman | October 14, 2009
Posted October 28, 2009

Corn oil extraction could be the very cement that bridges different sectors of renewable fuels production. For the biodiesel industry, corn oil extracted from ethanol plant stillage is a feedstock largely underutilized and unlike algae, pennycress and other feedstocks being investigated, it's available now. GreenShift Corp., with offices in New York and Atlanta, recently received a second patent for its corn oil extraction technique, "Method of Freeing the Bound Oil Present in Whole Stillage and Thin Stillage."

GreenShift licenses its technologies to ethanol plants, which usually sell distillers grains into animal feed markets. But the company is looking to "drill into the back-end" of corn ethanol plants to "tap into a new reserve of inedible crude corn oil with an estimated industry-wide output of about 20 million barrels per year," GreenShift said. "An estimated 3.4 million tons of corn oil passed unrecovered through the ethanol industry during 2008 alone."

In addition, GreenShift has filed suit against GEA Westfalia Separator of Germany, and says Westfalia has infringed on its patent territory for recovering corn oil by evaporating, concentrating and mechanically processing thin stillage. "Well after we introduced the market to the benefits of corn oil extraction, [Westfalia] took to trivializing our innovations as they solicited and induced many in the ethanol industry into using our now patented technology well after our patent applications were published," said Kevin Kreisler, CEO of GreenShift.
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