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ReSolute – EU flagship project to produce bio-based solvents launched

ReSolute, an EU flagship project focused on creating a new, sustainably-sourced, safer alternative to traditional, fossil-based solvents, has been launched. Led by Australia-headed biotechnology company Circa Group via its European subsidiary Circa Sustainable Chemicals BV, the project will build a flagship plant to create levoglucosenone (LGO). A chemical building block, LGO can be used to produce bio-based solvent "Cyrene" in one step, using feedstock from non-food renewable biomass.

ReSolute – a new flagship Horizon 2020 project led by Circa Group set to develop the first commercial plant in the EU to produce Cyrene, a new, sustainably-sourced, bio-based, and safer alternative to conventional, fossil-based solvents.

First announced in December 2019, the EU Horizon 2020 project builds on previous Horizon 2020 project ReSolve and aims to build a flagship plant to create levoglucosenone (LGO), a chemical building block which can be used to produce bio-based solvent Cyrene in one step.

The commercial-scale plant is expected to reach a production capacity of 1 000 tonnes of Cyrene per annum, using feedstock from non-food renewable biomass making it the first of its kind in the European Union.

Cyrene is a bio-based alternative to traditional commercial fossil-based 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 with engineering work will begin next month and the estimated commissioning date is the 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. The partners are IAR (France – FR), Circa Sustainable Chemicals BV (Belgium – BE), Merck KGaA, Darmstadt (Germany – DE), Will & Co (Netherlands – NL), University of York (United Kingdom – UK), Talga Resources (Germany – DE), Huntsman Specialty Chemicals (Switzerland – CH), CPL (United Kingdom – UK), AgroParisTech (France – FR), PNO Consultants (France – FR) and PFA (Belgium – BE)

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, Tony Duncan, CEO, and co-founder of Circa Group.

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