All Along the Watchtower: Projects, R&D, partnerships of the Month for October 2020

October 26, 2020 |

Project Watch, Renewable Chemicals: France’s ReSolute Project

The Project

In Belgium, ReSolute, the Flagship EU project led by Circa Group will build a flagship plant to create levoglucosenone. A chemical building block, LGO can be used to produce bio-based solvent Cyrene 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 technology backstory

Circa Group converts waste biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary FuracellT 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.

The Location

The plant will be located in Eastern France and is expected to reach a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes of CyreneTM per year. Engineering work will begin next month and the estimated commissioning date is end of 2022.

The Partners

Bringing together 11 partners from six countries, ReSolute will provide new manufacturing and employment opportunities in product manufacture and downstream conversion in Europe. ReSolute Partners are:

  • IAR (FR)
  • Circa Sustainable Chemicals BV (BE)
  • Merck KGaA, Darmstadt (DE)
  • Will & Co (NL)
  • University of York (UK)
  • Talga Resources (DE)
  • Huntsman Specialty Chemicals (CH)
  • CPL (UK)
  • AgroParisTech (FR)
  • PNO Consultants (FR)
  • PFA (BE)

Reaction from the Stakeholders

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.”

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