Rivertop Renewables (www.rivertop.com), a Montana-based renewable chemicals company, today announced it has successfully scaled its patented process technology from the lab to pilot manufacturing. Rivertop has contracted with DTI (www.danchemtechnology.com), a custom manufacturer of fine and specialty chemical products based in Danville, Virginia, to pilot the manufacture of Rivertop's sustainable, high performing, cost-competitive, glucarate-based products. Product made in this initial phase of contract manufacturing will be used to fulfill Rivertop's commercial contracts for bio-based corrosion inhibitors. Remaining volumes of manufactured product will be used by the company and its customers to develop and test glucarate applications in a myriad of other industrial and consumer markets.
"Demonstrating the capability of our technology is another key milestone for our company and proof point for our oxidation process," said Jere Kolstad, President of Rivertop. "Contract manufacturing is a critical step along the way to a capital-efficient technology deployment strategy that yields a high return on investment."
Commencing in February 2012, Rivertop's pilot manufacturing has produced numerous batches of glucarate-based products at approximately 850 pounds per run. DTI's unique manufacturing technologies and flexibility enabled the accurate scaling of Rivertop's platform oxidation process. Data derived from these and subsequent runs will enable Rivertop and DTI to scale to a capacity up to 10 million pounds of contract-manufactured product per year. This next scale of production is projected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"The DTI team is excited to see and support the Rivertop team in reaching another key milestone in their business strategy," said Tim Condron, CEO of DTI. "Both teams worked tirelessly and collaboratively to meet an aggressive project timeline to transition the Rivertop technology from the lab to a manufacturing environment. This is an exciting time for the Rivertop team and we are positive the market will respond well to this new technology."
In addition to starting contract manufacturing, Rivertop is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion of its research and development laboratories, including the construction of a semi-works facility, at its headquarters in Missoula, Montana. Successful contract manufacturing combined with the coming semi-works will enable the company to scale directly from pilot to global scale production in the coming years, removing the need for a costly demonstration plant.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has identified glucaric acid as one of the top 12 chemicals of the future made from renewable sources. Rivertop initially plans to use its glucaric acid products as an effective and cost-competitive replacement for phosphates in the multi-billion dollar markets for global detergent builders, as well as corrosion inhibitors and chelants to protect transportation and industrial infrastructure without damaging water quality. Multiple longer-term opportunities exist in the company's research with advanced biodegradable polymers, adhesives, and other functional materials. Rivertop's platform process is capable of utilizing a wide variety of sugars to produce a large spectrum of green chemicals and bio-based products that possess a range of properties with applications in various markets.