RiKarbon carbon capture start-up gets state grants for expansion

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RiKarbon Inc., an early-stage company specializing in developing products using captured emissions has chosen to continue growing in Newark, with an expansion from its Delaware Technology Park incubator space to Delaware Industrial Park.

RiKarbon was founded in 2018 with support from a federal Smal Business Innovation Research Grant from the Department of Energy to capture and repurpose carbon emissions. The company has grown steadily since then, winning a 2019 Tech Connect Innovation Award, receiving several Delaware Technology Innovation Program Grants and outgrowing its 600 square feet of laboratory space in the startup incubator of Delaware Technology Park.

RiKarbon will renovate and fit out 2,540 square feet of new chemical research and development lab space in a former electronic device manufacturing facility on Dawson Drive in Delaware Industrial Park, south of the Technology Park. The company also will add 12 full-time positions to its current roster of six full-time employees and two part-time employees.

The larger facility and staff will allow RiKarbon to continue its commercial 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 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.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported RiKarbon’s request to the 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. Distribution of these grants is dependent upon the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved RiKarbon’s request.

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“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, 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.”

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