“Changing Chemistry for Good: using waste, non-food biomass to produce sustainable, safer chemicals that replace NMP/DMF at scale with new, short. local, resilient supply-chains."

Time & Location

Thursday 12.20 to 12.40, Stage 2


Dr. Sarah HickingbottomGeneral Manager - Circa Group

About this presentation

In a world demanding real change to limit the climate crisis, we are still miles away from replacing the toxic fossil-based chemicals used everywhere in everyday life. Until now. Circa is one of the few businesses with the technology to produce sustainable chemicals at scale. The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the development of ‘safe and sustainable by design’ criteria by ECHA foreshadow the elimination of toxics solvents such as NMP and DMF. Preparing for REACH and TSCA developments protects your supply chain from regulated changes, minimises EHS risk and satisfies growing sustainability drivers from both customers and investors.

With solubilising properties similar to NMP/DMF, Circa’s green novel solvent Cyrene™ has a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and tuneable polarities. It is low-toxic, environmentally benign, biodegradable, biocompatible and recyclable as well as circular and bio-based with low water usage and low carbon emissions. The application of Cyrene™ extends across multiple markets, such as pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings, polymers and plastics, electronics, carbon technologies, agriculture, speciality chemicals, textiles, automotive, cosmetics and more.

Most importantly, Cyrene can be produced at scale. We are building our first-of-a-kind 1,000 mtpa plant in France with the goal of 80,000 mtpa global offtake capacity by 2030, including in Asia, the Americas and Europe. And this is only the beginning. Circa is accelerating the transition to better, greener, safer chemistry. We have made the breakthrough – now we need you to join Dr Sarah Hickingbottom as she outlines how we can work together to fundamentally change chemistry for good.

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.