Biotechnology company Circa Group has announced that its FC5 commercial demonstration plant is now online, paving the way to a regular supply of Circa’s bio-based solvent CyreneⓇ.
A joint venture between Circa and Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skog, the FC5 plant is located in Tasmania, Australia. Now successfully commissioned and operated end-to-end, FC5 is starting to produce a steady stream of 99% pure CyreneⓇ, a non-toxic solvent made from certified and renewable cellulose waste.
CyreneⓇ is an alternative to traditional dipolar aprotic solvents, which are used in large volumes – over one million tonnes per year – and are under intense regulatory pressure due their toxicity. In the EU, Circa is a partner on BBI project ReSolve, which specifically aims to replace NMP – a fossil-derived solvent which has been categorised as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under European REACH regulation. Safer solvents are urgently required and CyreneⓇ is a bio-based solution with a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities. CyreneⓇ is sold worldwide through Circa’s distributors Merck/Sigma Aldrich and Will&Co.