Company initiatives, Investments, Press Release, Processing, Products

Rivertop starts construction of first commercial plant

Montana, US-based specialty chemicals company, Rivertop Renewables has begun construction of its first commercial plant, located at DanChem Technologies, Inc.’s (DTI) facility in Danville, Virginia. DTI, a custom manufacturer of fine and specialty chemical products, is expected to begin production of Rivertop’s sugar-based glucaric acid-derived products beginning in the summer of 2015. At full capacity, the plant will produce up to 10 million pounds of product per year.

Here is a video about DTI.

The company said partnering with DTI for contract manufacturing both lowers the cost and speeds time-to-market for its novel performance chemicals.

“The volumes produced will enable us to not only meet the needs of our existing customers, but also enable us to unlock new markets with ample supply for testing and co-development with partners.” – Mike Knauf, CEO, Rivertop Renewables

Among the products to be produced will be Rivertop’s Riose® detergent builder, with the aim to replace phosphates – which has already been banned in several states because of water pollution issues.

The Riose® detergent builder is designed for the consumer segment of the automatic dishwashing detergent market, and is reportedly an effective detergent builder as well as enables a lower total cost of formulation. Detergent builders have several functions in detergents, the most visible of which is improving detergent performance by solubilizing hard water chemicals, thus preventing spotting on glassware.

DTI will also produce Headwaters® corrosion inhibitor that states, municipalities and snow removal contractors blend with salt brine to help reduce the corrosive impacts of deicer on roads, bridges and vehicles.

The Headwaters® inhibitor is biodegradable, cost-effective and consistently performs at high levels. It is a finalist for Materials Performance magazine’s 2015 Corrosion Innovation of the Year. Rivertop has supplied the Montana Department of Transportation with corrosion inhibitors for the past three winters and is expanding sales beyond Montana this season.

These products are based on salts of glucaric acid. The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized glucaric acid as one of the top 12 “biobased building block chemicals.” Traditional pathways of producing glucaric, other sugar acids and their salts have been costly, energy intensive and environmentally challenging, relegating their use to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications.

Check out the blog’s article on Q&A with Rivertop in May 2014. I will also report more information that I received from Rivertop on this investment as well as the market of glucaric acid on Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-Materials December newsletter (which I am working on now).

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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