YORK, UK – 11 July 2017 – Circa Sustainable Chemicals UK – a subsidiary of Australian biotechnology company Circa Group – has won an Innovate UK grant, which will be used to develop new applications for bio-based solvents. Circa will focus on two biosolvent application areas: polymer dispersions and coatings removal for paint or graffiti.
Aiming to encourage disruptive ideas, grant candidates had to demonstrate new, highly innovative processes, products or services, as well as show significant return on investment. Thanks to the grant, Circa will be identifying current coatings removal and polymer dispersion applications which rely upon a polar aprotic solvent.
After initial studies, a theoretical framework will be developed to predict future solvent performance and identify commercially relevant polymer systems where biosolvent Cyrene® can be applied. Produced by Circa, Cyrene® is a bio-based alternative to polar aprotic solvents which are under regulatory pressure worldwide due to their toxicity. Cyrene® has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities.
Circa will work with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, who also helped develop Cyrene®. The work should be completed by June 2018.
By providing funding for small companies, Innovate UK wants to help overcome innovation barriers and speed up delivery of new products. As winners, Circa demonstrated that its work will lead to successful commercialisation and show significant and sustainable growth.
Jeff Eaves, General Manager at Circa Sustainable Chemicals UK, said, “We are thrilled to win this Innovate UK grant, which will increase application opportunities for biosolvents. We were particularly glad that bio-based solutions won an open call competition, confirming the bioeconomy’s potential and helping to boost biomaterials’ share in markets dominated by petro-based products.”
YORK, UK – 15 June 2017 – ReSolve, a €4.3 million EU project focused on replacing traditional, fossil-based solvents, officially launched today. Led by the University of York, the project consortium is comprised of 11 partners from 5 different countries, including Circa Group subsidiary company Circa Sustainable Chemicals UK Ltd.
ReSolve, an abbreviation of ‘Renewable solvents with high performance in applications and improved toxicity profiles’, is a three-year project looking for alternatives to substances categorised as very high concern (SVHC) under European REACH regulation. ReSolve answers the BBI-2016-R06 call on ‘Bio-based alternatives to improve protection of human health and the environment’.
The project is set to demonstrate production of novel alternatives to replace toxic solvents toluene and NMP, create an additional pipeline of bio-based solvents, establish a toxicological safety testing strategy and evaluate possible production processes of the most advanced bio-based solvent candidates, benchmarked against conventional solvents.
Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, said, “As producers of biosolvent Cyrene®, we are delighted to participate in a project focused on developing more non-toxic, bio-based alternatives. Our Furacell™ platform is one of two core technical streams which will demonstrate and produce new, renewable solvents for ReSolve. We are looking forward to collaborating with our project partners and we are keen for ReSolve to be a success story which will enable the EU to further promote the benefits of biosolvents.”
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 2 June 2017 – Australian biotechnology company Circa Group is proud to announce that its biosolvent Cyrene® won the ‘Bio-based Chemial Innovation of the Year’ award. The news was announced yesterday at conference ‘Bio-based Live Europe’ and was one of two ‘Bio-based Innovation Awards 2017’ given out on the night.
Biosolvent Cyrene® is a bio-based alternative to polar aprotic solvents such as NMP, DCM and DMF, which are under regulatory pressure worldwide due to their toxicity. Cyrene® was developed by Circa in conjunction with along with Prof James Clark's Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York and Merck KGaA.
Cyrene® has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities, which makes it an interesting prospect for producing advanced materials. Like all of Circa’s advanced bio-based chemicals, Cyrene® is created from waste biomass with Circa’s proprietary FuracellTM process – proven over seven years and four pilot plants. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from waste biomass and addressing a gap in the market by providing bio-based, non-toxic, high-performance alternatives.
Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, said, “Along with colleagues from GCCE and Sigma-Aldrich, we are delighted that Cyrene® has been rewarded as a bio-based innovation. All results to date indicate Cyrene® is a safer, healthier, high-performance alternative to traditional solvents and it continues to surprise researchers with its unique properties. We are glad that its exciting potential continues to be recognised.”