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Circa Renewable Chemistry Institute

Driving forward research and commercialisation in the area of renewable chemistry. 

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.

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, Department of Chemistry.



Papers published


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350,000 tonnes

Carbon abatement potential at 2030 capacity

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.

A key part of the Institute’s role is to conduct application-driven research that supports organisations to develop formulations and processes using the safe and sustainable solvent, Cyrene™.

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. 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 of 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 biomass valorisation, green solvent development and bio-based polymer chemistry.  It will work with industry to develop capability around the use of bio-based chemicals in real world applications and support the growth of renewable chemistry more broadly.