St. Paul, Minn. — A Minnesota company is greasing the way for soy-based lubricants to move into global industrial markets.

Cortec Corporation finds soy-based products a natural fit for its position as a worldwide leader in environmentally-sound, biodegradable, corrosion-control products. The company is rolling out soy-based greases to lubricate and protect industrial machinery from rust and corrosion.

“We’ve enhanced soy greases by adding our corrosion inhibitors,” says Art Albrecht, Cortec vice president of research and development. “Plus, (soy) products have become more economical. We’re looking forward to making them available.”

One of the first companies in Minnesota to achieve ISO 14001 certification, Cortec holds more than 20 patents for corrosion and rust-inhibiting products and processes. Since its beginnings in the late 1970s, the company has caught the attention and business of some of the world’s largest customers — General Motors, Nokia, Daimler-Chrysler and the U.S. military.

Cortec offers a long list of corrosion control products including films, sprays and packaging materials. Its EcoLineTM already includes surface cleaners, cutting fluids, lubricants and rust inhibitors with soybean oil. The newest EcoLine soy greases include a bar and chain oil, food machinery lubricating grease and heavy- duty grease.

“Not only do these products lubricate well, we’ve also drastically increased the corrosion protection,” says Alla Furman, senior corrosion engineer. “Some of the ingredients used in food processing can be very corrosive. Also, the equipment isn’t always in use, so the grease needs to provide protection while it’s in storage.”

Cortec’s latest venture into new soy-based products has been supported by AURI and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Lubricants and greases are key areas identified by soybean market promoters. “We like to see some of the soybean oil being moved out of the market and into higher value products like the greases,” says Max Norris, AURI oils scientist.

Cortec products can be ordered on-line at www.cortecvci.com.