Public Release: 

Minneapolis researchers receive award for developing vegetable-based oils

American Chemical Society

Chemists Dharma Kodali, Ph.D., and Scott Nivens of Cargill, Incorporated, in Minneapolis, Minn., will be honored June 3 by the world's largest scientific society for developing nontoxic, biodegradable oils made from renewable resources. They will receive one of two 2002 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society's Great Lakes regional meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.

"Multidisciplinary teams will be the main force driving the development of the products, materials and technologies that advance civilization in the 21st century," said Eli Pearce, president of the American Chemical Society. "Individual members of the team share knowledge to achieve a common goal, achieving more than each could alone. Thus, the team becomes a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts."

Vegetable oils possess excellent lubricative properties, but they gel and degrade at extreme high and low temperatures. Kodali and Nivens have developed a series of commercial lubricants, Agri-PureTM 500, made from modified vegetable oils that overcome these problems. The oils, which are comparable with high-end synthetic lubricants, can be used as a base oil for hydraulic fluid and crankcase oil, and as chain lubricants in environmentally sensitive areas.

The American Chemical Society's Industrial Innovation Awards recognize individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance our quality of life.


Dharma R. Kodali, Ph.D., is the manager for research and development at Cargill, Incorporated. He received his M.Sc. in organic chemistry and his Ph.D. in synthetic medicinal chemistry from Kurukshetra University in India in 1976 and 1980. He resides in Plymouth, Minn.

Scott C. Nivens is a research scientist at Cargill, Incorporated. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1995.

EDITORS NOTE: The winners will present 20-minute talks about their work on Monday, June 3, from 2-3:30 p.m. If you would like to attend the awards banquet or presentations, please contact the person listed above.

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