Circa and the University of York share a vision for the chemical industry, one that is commercially beneficial, environmentally responsible and offers a feasible transition from toxic fossil-based chemicals. We believe this vision can be realised by the development and commercialisation of bio-based products at scale. Our longstanding collaboration on Circa’s bio-solvent Cyrene™ is evidence of what this partnership delivers.

Together we have now established the Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute to enable the take-up of Circa’s innovative bio-based chemicals through specific application development and process support. The Institute will foster the growth of renewable chemistry by bringing together specialist expertise in a collaborative environment to advance a targeted program of work on biochemical production and utilisation.

Building the bio-based chemical economy

“The Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute will carry out cutting edge research on commercially relevant platform molecules and their production to further the development of more sustainable chemicals and products. Developing great products like Cyrene™ is just the beginning – the transition to renewable chemistry requires an open collaborative environment where peers can problem solve and break through barriers together. There are commercial and reputational rewards for the early adopters and we invite them to be part of this important work.”

Professor James Clark, University of York

Delivering on the promise of biochemicals at scale

The mission of the Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute is to advance and promote the development and commercialization of renewable chemistry, processes and products that enable the chemical industry to transition to commercially viable, sustainable, and environmentally responsible bio-based products at an industrial scale.

The Institute conducts application-driven research that supports organisations in the transition from toxic fossil-based solvents to the safer and sustainable alternative, Cyrene™.


papers published


Google search results


tonnes carbon abatement potential at 2030 capacity

Being able to provide customers with knowledge and expertise on the use of Cyrene™ in real world applications and processes, along with the development of new products and solvents has always been important for Circa. And leveraging the knowledge on Cyrene™ built up at the GCCE in recent years makes a lot of sense. Beyond Cyrene™, the Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute will be an important partner supporting the take-up of innovative products in the bio-based circular economy.”

Tony Duncan, CEO, Circa Group AS.

Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence

The Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute is located within the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York. This is a significant development for the University, for Circa, and for the growth of renewable chemistry. The Institute will build on the University’s established strengths with Cyrene™ and green polymer chemistry.  It will expand our capacity to provide Circa customers with knowledge and expertise on the use of Cyrene™ in real world applications and processes. The Institute will also work on the development of new products and solvents and support the growth of renewable chemistry more broadly.


The Bioeconomy’s first comic book

Featuring our biorenewable solvent, Cyrene™, Green Kid is a comic book to educate schoolchildren about how the materials we use today impact the future. Green Kid was the brainchild of Rob McElroy, Deputy Director of the Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute. Launched in 2022, Green Kid features our solvent Cyrene™ as one of the sustainable solutions for a better future, explaining our patented Furacell™ process in a simple way for an audience of schoolchildren and their teachers.

Download English version

Download French version

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