Circa Group Pty Ltd
Bio21 Molecular Science
& Biotechnology Institute
30 Flemington Road, Parkville
VIC 3052 Australia
Twitter @circagroup

Tony Duncan
Chief Executive Officer

Fabien Deswarte
Business Development Manager

c/o Bio 21, Flemington Road

+61 419 303 117

Circa Group is converting waste biomass into advanced biochemical materials.



Filtering by Category: Cyrene

Cyrene clears initial REACH evaluation

Nigel Rowe

Circa is pleased to announce that our chiral, dipolar aprotic solvent, Cyrene has passed the first hurdle towards commercialisation in Europe, being provisionally registered under the European regulation “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Under the Annex VII requirements of REACH, up to 10 tonnes per year of Cyrene can now be sold into Europe to assist companies to undertake commercial trials.

Cyrene, a non-toxic, “green chemical” alternative to existing solvents used in pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries across the world is manufactured from renewable cellulose by Circa.

Developed in conjunction with University of York’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Cyrene™ has successfully undergone initial testing across a range of, generic solvent reactions indicating it could be a viable alternative to NMP (NMP has been classified under REACH as toxic for reproduction).

Circa continues to work through the REACH registration process to allow higher volumes of Cyrene to be used in Europe, and expects to have completed the process for REACH Annex VIII registration by the third quarter of 2016.

Circa and Norske Skog on cusp of delivering a new bio-chemicals industry for Tasmania

Nigel Rowe

Mr Eric Hutchinson, Federal MP for Lyons, Mr John Laugher, Vice President Strategy and Business Development at Norske Skog, Mr Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, and Mr Ross Hampton, CEO of AFPA visiting the pre-commercial facility in Melbourne on Friday.

Mr Eric Hutchinson, Federal MP for Lyons, Mr John Laugher, Vice President Strategy and Business Development at Norske Skog, Mr Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, and Mr Ross Hampton, CEO of AFPA visiting the pre-commercial facility in Melbourne on Friday.

FPA issued a media release welcoming the recent announcement of a joint venture between Circa Group and Norske-Skog to build a large scale prototype manufacturing bio-solvents at the Boyer paper mill site in Tasmania. Mr Ross Hampton said, “This new project would deliver significant economic benefits and is an excellent example of a breakthrough development in the emerging global market for the use of sustainable bio-chemicals using the IP developed by Circa Group. However, there remain regulatory and trade access barriers for the commercialisation of the product in key markets such as Europe and the United States, in terms of the internationalassessment and accreditation of new products such as Cyrene in the market place.” The federal member for Lyons, Eric Hutchinson, said “The State Government support for the build phase of the project is to be applauded. This project will provide much needed jobs and investment in the Tasmanian economy. Addressing the regulatory access issue in international markets is the next key priority. I am working to assist in any way I can, particularly through the commercialisation process to deliver what I think could be a new biochemical technology industry in Tasmania.”

MEDIA RELEASE - Large scale prototype for boyer mill

Nigel Rowe

Norske Skog and Circa Group Pty Ltd have entered into a joint venture to manufacture and market a range of sustainable platform chemicals to global markets.

The joint venture today announced that the Boyer Mill has been selected as home for a large scale prototype that will produce Cyrene, a non-toxic, “green chemical” alternative to existing solvents used in pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries across the world.

The $6.6 million plant will produce around 50 tonnes per annum of Cyrene and is due to be up and running within 12 months, following a grant of $1.5 million from the Tasmanian Government.

Norske Skog’s Regional President, Andrew Leighton welcomed the joint venture with Circa Group and thanked the Tasmanian Government for their support for this exciting new opportunity.

Mr Leighton said the diversification into bio-chemical production was a good fit for Norske Skog’s Australasian strategic direction of “building our future from fibre and energy”.  He said the company had been working with Circa Group for the past 12 months and he looked forward to a long and productive relationship.

Mr Tony Duncan, CEO Circa Group said the company’s focus was the research, development and commercialisation of biochemicals from sustainable cellulose feedstocks. He said Circa had been working on the current project since 2009 and it was great to have Norske Skog on board given their knowledge and experience in processing wood residues and large scale manufacturing.

Mr Duncan said the large scale prototype at the Boyer Mill would be the fifth and largest scale up to date of Circa's Furacell™ technology. He said the plant was designed to demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology, while providing increased volumes for researchers and customers in Europe, North America, Asia and locally. 

He said customer trialing, which has been underway for 18 months, has shown Cyrene (tm) to be one of the very few new solvents capable of competing in a global market of over 900,000 tonnes per annum, where many traditional products are under increasing regulatory pressure due to environmental and health concerns.

13 November 2015

Further information
David Quinn 0418 123 282

Indian Institute of Petroleum shows interest in Circa’s unique bio solvent Cyrene

Nigel Rowe

Circa was pleased to welcome Dr M.O. Garg, Director of the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), at its production facility site in Melbourne. Located in Dehradun, India, CSIR-IIP is one of the key constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India, engaged in research and development activities mostly in the downstream sector of petroleum and petrochemical industry.

CSIR-IIP’s expertise in developing innovative processes for the petroleum and petrochemical industry is driving interest in technologies and products that minimise environmental impacts. Circa’s development of cellulose based products supports CSIR-IIP’s strategy to increase the use of more environmentally friendly products.

Circa’s unique cellulose based bio solvent, Cyrene, is currently proving itself in trials with a number of key companies in Europe and North America. With the implementation of REACH in Europe, the regulatory environment surrounding the chemical sector and particularly the petrochemical sector is trending to less harmful products and this focus is now impacting via regulation in other markets including the Asia-Pacific region.

Greg Court, Circa’s Chair, commented, “Cyrene is now considered a promising solution to replace a number of toxic solvents currently used in industries around the world. The visit of Dr M.O. Garg demonstrates the width of opportunities growing in the bio-solvent sector worldwide, and we are very pleased to be collaborating with him and such a respected group as IIP”.

About IIP

CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) is devoted to multidisciplinary areas of research and development in the downstream sector of hydrocarbon and related industry. The Institute undertakes R&D work in areas of petroleum refining, natural gas, alternative fuels, petrochemicals utilization of petroleum products in IC engines and in industrial and domestic combustion. Institute also provides, besides training, technical and analytical services to petroleum refining and related industry including technology transfer for developing novel, state-of-art technologies and products.