Introducing CyreneTM at scale - the sustainable, safe, bio-based solvent that outperforms NMP and other SVHC solvents (part of ‘Transitioning to Bio-based Chemicals’ session - Hosted by BioVale)


Dr. Sarah HickingbottomGeneral Manager New Product Development - Circa Group

Time & Location

Wednesday: 10.00 to 11.00, Stage 1

About this presentation

Sustainable chemicals continue to build momentum but are constrained by availability at scale. Circa Group is disrupting that status quo with its proprietary 1-step FuracellTM process converting waste biomass – crop residues, wood sawdust, processed organic household waste etc. – to the platform chemical Levoglucosenone (LGO). Circa is developing a LGO derivative portfolio with our first commercial product being our flagship molecule CyreneTM.

A solvent not confined by yesterday’s thinking, CyreneTM has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities. It is a technical replacement for toxic dipolar aprotic solvents, i.e. NMP, DMF, DCM and is itself non-toxic, environmentally-benign, biodegradable and biocompatible as well as circular and bio-based with low CO2 emissions.

Circa is building its first-of-a-kind 1,000 mtpa plant in France with the goal of 80,000 mtpa global offtake capacity by 2030. In her talk, Dr Sarah Hickingbottom will outline the new, sustainable chemical possibilities enabled by having access to LGO industrially and Cyrene’s potential as a green solvent.

About this session

As the world faces up to the challenges posed by finite resources and carbon emissions, a shift to the bio-based chemicals provides one solution; switching from fossil fuel feedstocks and transitioning to an economy which uses renewable, biological ‘bio-based’ resources.

Yorkshire and the Humber’s innovation cluster, BioVale, promotes this new, bio-based economy and helps enterprises profit from its high-growth, future-proofed business opportunities. As host to this session they have brought together speakers who represent both academia and industry to explore the current capabilities, successes, opportunities and challenges of transitioning to bio-based chemicals.

Featured Themes & Speakers:

Why go bio-based?
Speaker: Dr Mark Gronnow, Process Development Unit Manager, Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC)

Industrial Biotechnology opportunities to meet the chemical supply chain demands as part of the drive to Netzero by 2050
Speaker: Lynsey Dunbar, Senior Business Engagement Manager – IBioC

Introducing CyreneTM at scale – the sustainable, safe, bio-based solvent that outperforms NMP and other SVHC solvents
Speaker: Dr Sarah Hickingbottom, General Manager new product development, Circa Group

‘Bio-based and sustainability trends in the cosmetics sector’
Speaker: Kirsty Mawhinney, Director Cosmetics Cluster UK

Q&A round-up discussion to close this session

Session Host:  Caroline Wilcock – BioVale Cluster Stakeholder Engagement Manager – Biorenewables Development Centre (York)

Speaker Bio:

Circa Group is scaling up its waste cellulosics-to-chemicals technology with Dr Sarah Hickingbottom as General Manager. Previously CEO for the bioeconomy innovation cluster BioVale, she has extensive global consultancy experience advising brand owners, chemical manufacturers, start-ups and agricultural producers on bio-based economics and value chains. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree from Imperial College with an ERASMUS year studying at the Institut für Organische Chemie in Hannover, Germany. She moved to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for her Chemistry Ph.D.