Renewable solvent wins environmental leader’s top product award

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In Australia, Cyrene, a bio-based, renewable solvent produced by biotechnology company Circa Group, won Top Product 2019 at the Environmental Leader (EL) and Energy Manager Today (EMT) Awards. The judges said that Cyrene “[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.”

Cyrene 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.

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.”