Biobased solvent approved for EU, expansion into US planned shortly


In the United Kingdom, biobased solvent company Circa Group, has received European Union permission to manufacture and import 100 tons of its Cyrene solvent annually.

The European Chemicals Agency issued the REACH Annex VIII approval. Cyrene, a chiral dipolar aprotic solvent, was developed in conjunction by Circa and the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York. The process is a two-step conversion beginning with waste biomass.

Cyrene provides a safer alternative to polar aprotic solvents facing regulatory pressure worldwide, Circa says.

“Annex VIII authorization is a major milestone for Cyrene and we are delighted to have been given the go-ahead to sell Cyrene in significantly larger quantities in Europe,” Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group says. “Safer solvents are urgently required and with Cyrene, we are also offering a bio-based solution with a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities – making it an exciting new prospect for advanced materials. Our next goal is registration of Cyrene in the US and other jurisdictions will soon follow.”