Nov 22, 2011  |  ICGA

For Immediate Release                          Contact: Lindsay Mitchell


Bloomington, IL – University of Illinois researcher, Dr. Munir Cheryan, was the recipient of the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s 2011 Ethanol Award today during their annual meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel.

“Dr. Cheryan has provided invaluable assistance to IL Corn for more than 20 years, making ethanol a more marketable product with the creation of high-value coproducts.  His research will move today’s ethanol plants to the biorefineries of tomorrow,” said Jim Reed, ICGA President

Thanks to Dr. Cheryan, five patents on the COPE process have been licensed to Prairie Gold Inc. for the production of high-value coproducts in corn-based ethanol plants. These include zein protein that can be used as a substitute for films and plastics, and a unique edible corn oil that, unlike today's commercial oil, is red-colored containing health-promoting components.

In addition to this work, he has been a consultant to and/or served on technical advisory and/or management boards of over 30 companies, from multinational giants to start-ups, as well as government organizations and the UNDP-FAO. He has been Founder, Chief Scientific Advisor and/or President of three start-up companies since 2001. He is inventor or co-inventor of 12 issued and 4 pending US and Canadian patents, as well as over two dozen IP disclosures to clients and employers.

Dr. Cheryan has worked for the University of Illinois since 1975, most recently as professor of food and biochemical engineering in the Departments of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Agricultural & Biological Engineering, where he supervised over 80 post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and technicians over a 30-year academic career.