Around the Bend

What's going on at Rivertop Renewables

Around the Bend Blog

Mountains, water, fresh air, room to move. Just a few of the reasons we feel lucky to be headquartered in beautiful Missoula, Montana. This blog is where we keep track of things going on in and around Rivertop.

Featured post

A New Partner Distributes Bio-Based Waterline CI Corrosion Inhibitors

Big news: Rivertop has announced an exciting new partnership with Radical Polymers to distribute our glucaric-acid based Waterline® CI corrosion inhibitor to the independent water treatment market for the first time.

This a significant market expansion for Rivertop and glucaric acid, a chemical derived from plant sugars that has been traditionally too expensive for commercial applications like this. Rivertop’s technology has dramatically eased the production costs, and an entirely new class of chemicals from sugar biomass is now becoming available.

As part of the partnership, we will work with Radical Polymers to formulate Waterline CI with their INITIA scale control technologies and distribute the product as a new, sustainable option for independent water treaters. As our own Jason Kiely put it, this collaboration will enable customers “to adopt phosphorous-free treatment programs and to harness performance synergies between Waterline CI and INITIA technologies.”

Waterline CI is a phosphorous-free corrosion inhibitor that protects mild steel and galvanized surfaces in cooling water systems and provides unparalleled protection across a wide array of cooling water conditions and treatment formulations.

It is also the first corrosion inhibitor whose active raw ingredient, sodium glucarate, has been reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program and qualifies for use in Safer Choice-labeled products.

Radical Polymers, meanwhile, is a water treatment industry veteran, with more than 35 years of specific expertise in the design and application of water treatment additives.

The partnership promises to bring great (and sustainable) things. Stay tuned!

Check out the press release for more information.

Rivertop Among 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy

Rivertop has been featured among Biofuels Digest’s 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy!  Rivertop came in at number 40, ranked against some of the largest companies in the world that are deploying renewable, sustainable technologies in hundreds of industries.

The annual rankings were announced earlier this month at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, and are based on votes from an invited panel of distinguished international selectors and subscribers of The Digest. We are honored to be in such great company.

Read more about the 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy at Biofuels Digest.

Rivertop Named on Global Cleantech 100 ‘Ones to Watch’ List

We here at Rivertop are excited to announce that we have been named to the Global Cleantech 100 ‘Ones to Watch’ list. The list, produced by Cleantech Group, highlights companies that are catching the eye of leading investors and corporates in the market. The competition was fierce with 9,900 total nominations for companies from over 75 countries.

This is the colloquial icing on the cake for our year at Rivertop. Our sodium glucarate was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Chemicals Ingredients List (SCIL) and we exceeded nameplate capacity at our first commercial production facility less than six months after starting production.

Yet this award, at its core, is forward-looking. As the CEO of Cleantech Group phrased it, “by the nature of the list, the Ones to Watch truly represent the next cadre of exciting disruptive companies.” So it is with great excitement that we march towards 2017 with our new label and big plans. Stay tuned for further developments!

Rivertop Announced as Finalist for Bio-based Innovation Awards

We here at Rivertop are pleased to announce that our new WaterlineTM corrosion inhibitor has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 Bio-Based Innovation Awards. The awards seek out the best innovations in the bio-based space; Rivertop was selected as one of only three finalists for the Bio-Based Product of the Year category.

That particular category highlights products that are derived from plants and other renewable materials and provide alternatives to conventional petroleum-derived products. Notably, in the words of Bio-based World News, “the key is how the product improves on one derived from petroleum—sustainability is not enough—our judges [look] for developments in price and quality.”

This is exactly why Waterline was selected as a contender. The innovative products at Rivertop are made with our breakthrough oxidation technology that affordably transforms plant sugars into new and sustainable chemical ingredients that offer our customers more than a green option—they can compete on price, and offer superior performance as well.

Specifically, Waterline CI, designed to be integrated with products in the water treatment industry, offers a high performance, low cost alternative to phosphate-based options in water treatment formulations. Waterline is newly available in the last year, and already Rivertop’s customer are having success incorporating it into their water treatment products.

Check out our Waterline and Headwaters ® corrosion inhibitors, and our Riose® detergent builder to see how we are making a difference with our breakthrough technology platform.

The icing on the cake was the commendation from the judges. Said Michele Jalbert of the Renewable Chemical and Materials Alliance, the nominated products promise “to deliver systemic change in the shift away from non-renewable incumbent products.”

BIO report paints bright future for renewable chemicals

Last week, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a new report on the renewable chemical industry, featuring key players in the space, including (we are pleased to announce) Rivertop. The report “Advancing the Biobased Economy: Renewable Chemical Biorefinery Commercialization, Progress and Market Opportunities, 2016 and Beyond,” was written in order to document the progress and illustrate the potential for biobased production of renewable chemicals—and the results are impressive.

While sales of renewable chemicals represented 9 percent of worldwide chemical sales in 2012 (an already impressive number), their share is expected to grow to 11 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, sales of biobased products are expected to reach $375-$441 billion by 2020, with renewable chemicals and new biopolymers expected to have some of the highest growth rates within that greater expansion for the industry.

BIO found that renewable chemicals and biobased materials are attractive for many reasons—they can be commercialized at a smaller scale, come with environmental benefits, offer novel properties in comparison to traditional chemicals and promise more stable costs.

These advantages are familiar to everyone at Rivertop Renewables. We are using our proprietary technology to transform sugar acids into a variety of valuable chemical ingredients that allow our customers to make products that compete on price, performance and sustainability. Check out our Waterline and Headwaters corrosion inhibitors, and our Riose detergent builder to see how we are just getting started with our breakthrough technology platform.

The report also highlights certain policies that have successfully supported the expansion of the renewable chemicals and biobased products industry, as well as policies that could have a large effect if they are passed or expanded. Most notably, BIO highlights the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which it claims initiated important discussion on renewable chemicals and biobased products in addition to biofuels.

This is of course at its essence a reaffirmation of what we have been seeing for years—the renewable chemicals industry is humming and has enormous potential. BIO’s executive vice president, Brent Erickson, put it best: “The biobased economy is alive and well and it’s not just about biofuels development.”

Building with Biology

Each month, the University of Montana’s SpectrUM Discovery Area opens up its doors free of charge to the public for some hands-on learning and an opportunity to meet role models in various fields. This month’s theme was “Building with Biology” and provided opportunities for kids (both young and old) to engage in some hands-on science work and to meet some great STEM role models.

That group of role models included Rivertop’s own Kelly Barton, Senior Scientist here in Missoula. Kelly showed different ‘modules’ or units designed to elicit discussions on synthetic biology and its societal implications. She took visitors through Synthetic Biology kit exercises—particularly the ‘Tech Tokens’ Synthetic Biology kit.

Read more about the program in the Missoulian or check out this Tech Tokens video to learn more about Building with Biology.

Rivertop’s Annual Safety BBQ

Rivertop takes pride in its commitment to safety—a commitment which we celebrate every year at a company-wide event here at Rivertop. What do you get when you take a safety event, add some good BBQ and delicious local lager? A Safety-que.

This year’s Safety-que was the third annual event, honoring the hard work of the safety committee and thanking all Rivertop employees for their commitment to safety. It took place at the beautiful home of Cindy and Ross Campbell, surrounded by horse pastures, scenic views of the Montana mountains and (most importantly) a goldfish pond.

Kelly Barton, Rivertop’s Safety Coach (and Senior Scientist) and the safety committee planned the fun night. Kids (young and old) got to play games—including Campbell’s favorite called carpet ball—enjoy delectable barbecued meats (smoked chicken, ribs and pulled pork) and partake of Bayern Brewery’s well-loved Dump Truck Summer Bock lager.

It was truly an excellent celebration; one that marked yet another year of zero safety issues at Rivertop and one that re-emphasizes the company’s dedication to safety going forward.

Rivertop’s Sodium Glucarate Meets EPA Criteria for Safer Chemicals

Today Rivertop is making an exciting announcement: sodium glucarate produced through the Rivertop process has been officially listed on the EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL).

Being on the SCIL list means that the EPA has determined that our sodium glucarate is safer than traditional chemical ingredients, and can now be used in products with the EPA’s Safer Choice label.

Rivertop’s sodium glucarate is also the first chemical with corrosion inhibiting properties to secure full approval for the SCIL.

To qualify for the list, a product or chemical ingredient has to meet a series of stringent human and environmental health criteria—criteria that we here at Rivertop passed with flying colors. Continue reading “Rivertop’s Sodium Glucarate Meets EPA Criteria for Safer Chemicals”

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