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Consortium to build Cyrene plant

A consortium led by UK biotechnology company Circa Sustainable Chemicals is to develop the first commercial plant to produce levoglucosenone, the raw material for the biobased solvent Cyrene, from renewable feedstocks. It is expected to reach capacity of 1,000 tonnes/year.

This is part of ReSolute, an EU Horizon 2020 project that builds on the former ReSolve project. The 12 members from six countries include Huntsman Specialty Chemicals, Merck KGaA, the French Bioeconomy Cluster IAR, Norske Skog, which partnered with Circa on its biomass-to-biochemicals plant in Tasmania, and the University of York, which led ReSolve.

“Traditional solvents, such as NMP, DMF, DMAc and DCM, are all under intense regulatory pressure, yet still being used in large volumes,” noted Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of the Circa Group Circa has developed five successful pilots and we now going into industrial scale in the EU, with a project that supports the EU’s ambitious circular economy strategy.”

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