CyreneTM, a bio-based, renewable solvent produced by biotechnology company Circa Group, has won Top Product 2019 at the Environmental Leader (EL) and Energy Manager Today (EMT) Awards. The judges said that CyreneTM “[r]eplaces an otherwise toxic substance with a natural, gentler alternative without compromising quality or function. This product has the potential to change the solvent landscape for the better.”
The awards recognise the most innovative products and projects in the environment and energy space and CyreneTM won Top Product 2019 during an awards ceremony at the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference. Other Top Product 2019 winners include Asia Pulp and Paper, Ecometrica and Wolters Kluwer.
CyreneTM was developed in conjunction with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York. It is made from waste cellulose and has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities. Safer solvents are urgently required and CyreneTM provides an alternative to traditional dipolar aprotic solvents, which are used in large volumes – over one million tonnes per year. It is sold worldwide through Circa’s distributors Will&Co and Merck, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada and is sold under the Sigma-Aldrich brand.
Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, said, “With traditional solvents such as NMP, DMF and DMAc under intense regulatory pressure due to their toxicity, we are providing a renewable, bio-based solution which is ideal for a range of advanced materials. We’re delighted CyreneTM has been recognised as an innovative and successful commercial product by the industry – especially as the 2019 EL & EMT Awards judges confirmed this year’s winners have raised the bar higher than ever.”
Established in 2006, Circa Group converts waste biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary FuracellTM process at its prototype plant in Tasmania – a joint venture with Norske Skog. Circa’s developing product portfolio includes biosolvents, flavours and biopolymers, including CyreneTM, an alternative to traditional polar aprotic solvents. 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, non-toxic alternatives.