Processing Magazine

Montana bio-based chemical startup secures investment to start production

April 15, 2014
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Montana-based chemical company Rivertop Renewables has announced plans to expand its facilities and production capacity after it secured $26 million in capital from several major investors, including agricultural giant Cargill Inc. and Minnesota investment firm First Green Partners, which supports development of environmentally friendly technology.

The capital will allow Rivertop to expand its production of chemicals, like detergents and corrosion inhibitors, manufactured entirely from natural plant sugars. With the investments secured, the company will be able to start commercial production of its new class of chemicals to be used in a number of consumer products across a range of industries, Rivertop said in a statement. Further down the process, the company will be exploring other opportunities for product applications in industries such as home and personal care products, oil and gas, building and infrastructure, Rivertop announced.

The company will also hire a further 20 employees, with positions opened in marketing, accounting, business analysis, engineering and research and development. These additions to the company's workforce mean Rivertop will be doubling the size of its workforce in the next 12 months.

Rivertop chief executive officer Mike Knauf believes the new investment marks a milestone for the company, as it will be able to go into full commercialization. Knauf hopes that if everything goes according to plan, 12 months from now Rivertop will be manufacturing 1 million pounds of product every month.