15. Oct 2020
ReSolute, the Flagship EU project focused on creating a new, sustainably-sourced, safer alternative to traditional, fossil-based solvents, launches today.
Led by biotechnology company Circa Group, the project will build a flagship plant to create levoglucosenone (LGO). A chemical building block, LGO can be used to produce bio-based solvent CyreneTM in one step, using feedstock from non-food renewable biomass.
Cyrene is a bio-based alternative to traditional solvents such as NMP, DCM and DMF, which are under regulatory pressure worldwide due to their toxicity. With a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities, Cyrene can be used to produce a range of advanced materials.
The plant will be located in Eastern France and is expected to reach a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes of Cyrene per year. Engineering work will begin next month and the estimated commissioning date is end of 2022.
Bringing together 11 partners from six countries, ReSolute will provide new manufacturing and employment opportunities in product manufacture and downstream conversion in Europe.
Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, said, “Following five successful pilots, technology developed by Circa is one of the few out there providing sustainable options for bio-based solvents. We are delighted to kick-off this project and move into industrial scale while supporting the EU’s climate, energy and circular economy goals.”
Established in 2006, Circa Group converts waste biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary FuracellTM process at its prototype plant in Tasmania. Its developing product portfolio includes, flavours, bio-polymers, and bio-solvents including CyreneTM, an alternative to traditional polar aprotic solvents, which is produced in one step from platform chemical levoglucosenone. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from non-food, waste biomass and addressing a gap in the market by providing bio-based alternatives contributing to a more circular economy.
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 887674. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research an d innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium.