ReSolute, a flagship EU project focused on creating a new, sustainably-sourced, safer alternative to traditional, fossil-based solvents, has now been launched.
The project, bringing together 11 partners from 6 countries, is led by Australia-headed biotechnology company Circa Group via its European subsidiary Circa Sustainable Chemicals and will build a flagship plant to create levoglucosenone (LGO).
Cyrene is now made in a pilot plant in Australia by Circa Group. The new plant will be located in Eastern France and is expected to reach a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes of Cyrene per year from cellulose waste. Engineering work will begin next month and the estimated commissioning date is end of 2022.
“Following five successful pilots, technology developed by Circa is one of the few out there providing sustainable options for bio-based solvents,” said Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group.
A chemical building block, LGO can be used to produce Cyrene, a new, sustainably-sourced alternative to conventional, fossil-based solvents 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.
ReSolute will provide new manufacturing and employment opportunities in product manufacture and downstream conversion in Europe.
“We are delighted to kick-off this project and move into industrial scale while supporting the EU’s climate, energy and circular economy goals, ” said Duncan.
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 and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium.