Rivertop begins commercial production of bio-based glucaric acid


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Mike Knauf, CEO of Rivertop Renewables

Rivertop Renewables, a Montana-based specialty chemicals company, and DTI,  a custom manufacturer of fine and specialty chemical products based in Danville, Virginia, celebrated the start-up of commercial manufacturing of “Rivertop’s sustainable, high performing, cost-competitive, glucarate-based products”.


Paul Bacon, CEO of DTI, and Mike Knauf, CEO of Rivertop, were joined last Tuesday by Telly Tucker, Director of Economic Development for the City of Danville and other local dignitaries at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event to mark the occasion.

“This is the first of several planned production facilities for our patented technology,” said Mike Knauf, Rivertop’s CEO. “We’re producing three different products for customers in a variety of industries, and the success here in Danville is paving the way for investment in additional glucarate capacity.”

Among the products being produced is Rivertop’s Riose® detergent builder. Designed for the consumer segment of the automatic dishwashing detergent market, the sugar-derived product is an effective detergent builder and enables a lower total cost of formulation.

Builders have several functions in detergents, most visible of which is improving detergent performance by solubilizing hard water ions, thus preventing spotting on glassware.
Also produced at DTI are Waterline™ corrosion inhibitors and chelating agents, Rivertop’s recently introduced new family of “cost effective, high performance and sustainable chemicals designed to be integrated with products in the water treatment industry”.

According the US company, the new products are high performance, lower cost alternatives to phosphate-based options in water treatment formulations and will be produced at DTI.

Rivertop also produces Headwaters® corrosion inhibitor, which  is blended with salt brine by state and municipal highway departments to help reduce the corrosive impacts of the de-icer on roads, bridges and vehicles. Derived from renewable sugars, the Headwaters inhibitor is biodegradable and consistently performs at high levels. Rivertop currently supplies customers in western states and is looking to expand its reach to the Midwest and East Coast.

Rivertop and DTI collaborated to engineer and outfit DTI’s Danville production facility with Rivertop’s proprietary oxidation process technology. With successful commissioning and initial production milestones already reached, Rivertop and DTI are focused on achieving production at nameplate capacity of 10 million pounds per year.

Paul Bacon, President of DTI, said “We are pleased to see all the hard work we have done with Rivertop has resulted in a successful startup of the facility. We’re proud to produce their range of products that offers innovation to traditional industries, giving customers new options to improve their products in a sustainable and cost-competitive manner.”

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