Circa is a renewable chemicals company founded in 2006, enabling the transition to safer, greener, better chemistry. We are one of the very few companies capable of scaling to provide an alternative from toxic fossil-based chemicals in the timeframes needed to achieve global climate commitments.
With a patented process, proven over 5 pilot plants, and a plan for scale to meet global demand, we are changing chemistry for good.
Through our scalable and patented Furacell™ production process we are producing the sustainable platform chemical levoglucosenone (LGO) that can change chemistry for good. It enables industries to innovate and develop safer, greener and better chemical products used everywhere in everyday life.
Our products are already playing a role in the transition to better chemistry. The variety of applications and viability of our first commercially proven product Cyrene™ is acknowledged by our global partners, and we are currently scaling up production capacity.
With the support of EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and funding from France Relance, Circa’s ReSolute plant will scale-up Cyrene™ production to 1,000 tonnes in 2023. This is the first in a series of plants on a roadmap that will see Circa build 80,000 tonnes of capacity by 2030.
Proven product: Trialled in over 1,000 industry applications with over 150 published scientific papers, Cyrene™ has been shown to outperform toxic solvents NMP and DMF in ~25% of tests to date.
Scalable technology: Circa has steadily advanced the development of Furacell™ technology over 15 years, across 5 pilot plants, on a high-trajectory growth plan towards commercial scale.
Regulatory tailwinds: The EU, among others, has stated that bans on NMP and DMF will be fully enacted once suitable alternatives become available. Demand for these dipolar aprotic solvents is ~1 million tonnes per annum, growing at 3-4% per annum.
Market demand: Consumer drivers have accelerated corporate commitments to sustainability, and this is creating demand for biomaterials that will help companies develop more sustainable products.
Established partners: Merck, Will&Co and OQEMA are established distributors of Cyrene™. Circa Group has been working with Merck for the last 5 years to provide research and industrial customers with access to its novel bio-based chemicals. Market activity is supported by long term R&D relationships with expert researchers at University of York’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, AgroParisTech and University of Lorraine in France and University of New England in Australia. The company has Norske Skog (NSKOG) as an industrial partner, also the company’s largest shareholder.
Future products: Circa’s chemical building block, LGO, can be converted into numerous derivatives. Most of these products are in early-late stage development and have a higher margins than Cyrene™. No other company has successfully made LGO at a volume greater than 25kg. Currently, Circa is able to produce multi tonne quantities at our FC5 plant in Tasmania, Australia.
In 2020, Circa was granted the EU Flagship Horizon 2020 Grant of EUR 11.2 million to support a 1,000 tonnes production facility in France. The ReSolute plant will repurpose a coal-fired power station and supports the region’s plan to transition from coal-fired power generation to a more sustainable, greener, lower carbon economy that provides skilled jobs in clean technologies. French governments have provided an additional 8.2 million EUR.
The ReSolute plant will be commissioned in 2023 and involves a consortium of 11 highly qualified partners. It will be the first commercial scale plant on a growth plan to build 80,000 tonnes capacity by 2030. In conjunction with partners a study for a 5,000 tonnes plant has been completed, which provides the foundation for future growth and a sound basis for developing plant designs of up to 80,000 tonnes.