In 1968, Dr. Donald E. Kiely began to explore the creation of sophisticated, biodegradable polymers derived from glucarate, securing relevant patents on these polymers and uses while at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before long, Kiely realized that the glucarate available at the time was so expensive that any polymers derived from it would not be commercially viable.
Undeterred, he set-out to create his own low-cost supply.
The Kiely group developed a platform technology that enables the scalable and environmentally responsible production of a family of biodegradable chemicals.
At the University of Montana, Dr. Kiely and his research group methodically conducted hundreds of experiments. Ultimately, the Kiely group developed a platform technology that enables the scalable and environmentally responsible production of a family of biodegradable chemicals that compete on price and performance with non-renewable legacy products. These chemicals are environmentally benign by design.
And these methods and applications are protected by several patents and patents pending licensed to Rivertop.
With counsel from experts in the industrial sector, Kiely recognized several relevant commercial applications, initially corrosion inhibitors that biodegrade after use, protecting infrastructure and water quality. Additional product research revealed the effectiveness of these chemicals as health supplements, concrete admixtures, detergent builders, flame retardants, adhesives, films, fibers, heavy metal sequestering agents and, of course, sophisticated polymers for a myriad of uses.
With the encouragement of business, academic and environmental leaders, Kiely assembled a team to advance both the science and business of renewable chemicals.
Rivertop Renewables was founded in 2008.