On April 9, a group of investors announced a plan to invest $26 million to expand a Missoula Company. The money will go to Rivertop Renewables, a company that is using a chemical process conceived at the University of Montana, Rivertop Renewables turns plant sugars into sugar acids that can be used in products like de-icer. Rivertop Renewables CEO Michael Knauf says that the money will expand facilities in Virginia and Missoula

"The pilot facility, or semi-works facility is right here in Missoula," Knauf said. "We have the shell for that facility all ready to go and we'll be bringing in the equipment over the next couple of months. We'll be staffing to run that facility as well."

Knauf says there will be room for at least 20 new employees locally. The new facilities will allow the production of new products.

"Our first market will be the detergent market where the sugar acids that we produce are really great chelators, which means they'll take care of that hard water in your automatic dishwasher so your detergent can do the job."

The new product is called RIOSE Detergent Builder, Knauf says that experiments are underway to use the sugar acids in foods as well.