A Delaware environmental solutions firm will use $60,000 in state grants to quadruple lab space and create 12 new full-time jobs.
RiKarbon, based in Newark, will use the grants to expand from Delaware Technology Park incubator space to the Delaware Industrical Park.
The company, which will focus on carbon capture and utilization with the expansion, was founded in 2018 with support from a federal Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the Department of Energy.
It’s outdrown its 600-square feet of lab space and will renovate and fit out a 2,540 square feet of new chemical research and development lab space in a former electronic device manufacturing facility on Dawson Drive.
The new positions will be in addition to its six full-time employees and two part-time employees.
The larger facility and staff will allow RiKarbon to scaleup of 100% bio-based oils for emollients to formulate personal care products, bio-poly-alpha-olefin base oils for performance lubricants, products for upcycled plastics manufacturing and other cost-competitive offerings for domestic and international markets.
A recently announced partnership with BASF – the world’s largest chemical producer – includes bringing one of its emollient products to market by 2024.
The company also has received letters of intent from global customers to deliver products and is now raising investment funding to do so.
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The Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported RiKarbon’s request to the state Council on Development Finance for a Graduated Lab Space Grant of up to $34,000 and a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $26,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund.
The company must meet certain commitments to get the money.
“We are recreating similar ingredients that we use every day in our shampoo, conditioner, facial products or automotive engines, but making them in a socially responsible way from organic wastes that are causing environmental challenges globally,” said Basudeb Saha, CEO of RiKarbon. “It is very satisfying that we are able to deliver green and upcycled products to our customers to promote health and environmental efficacy while tackling climate challenges.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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