A look back at the best of ReSolute in 2023

In 2023, ReSolute reached several milestones and achievements on the way toward full-scale production of bio-based Cyrene solvent. During the year, ReSolute partners also attended several conferences and events, which were opportunities for them to showcase their work within the project, as well as raising general public awareness on the bio-based and non-toxic solvent and their relevance to tackle with present and future industrial challenges.


Decisive steps were taken towards commissioning of the plant

The most decisive steps in 2023 are related to the plant. The final authorizations related to the construction were granted by the French authorities in November 2023. Circa, the project’s coordinator is planning to operate a first-of-its-kind biorefinery in Carling-Saint-Avold, on an industrial platform in reconversion. An agreement was reached and signed in November with GazelEnergie for the construction of the plant. It represents a decisive step towards its commissioning, expected in mid-2024.


Circa filled patents for two new bio-based solvents

In July 2023, Circa filled patents for two novel solvents derived from biomass, Furatech 1 and Furatech 2. These solvents are tasked with capturing CO2. They are produced on the basis of the platform molecule of ReSolute project, the Levoglucosenome (LGO) which is also the basis of Cyrene, the heart of the project. Trials will be conducted in 2024 in parallel with the plant’s building and commissioning. Their performance in carbon capture seems already promising. The development of such products is of prime importance, as these bio-based solvents are non- or less toxic that those traditionally used. They are produced in a more sustainable way and are much needed for some applications.


ReSolute represented in major events

In 2023, ReSolute partners attended several conferences and summits, contributing to spotlight the project, share its results, exchange expertise on many technical and scientific topics as well as raising awareness on bio-based industry. Among many others, the main events were:

EUBCE – European Biomass Conference and Exhibition

EUBCE that took place from June 5th to 8th, 2023 in Bologna, Italy and brought stakeholders in the fields of industry and academic research together. An oral presentation was given on the project, on the topic “Exploiting lignocellulosic biomasses to develop innovative and more sustainable high-added value biobased products and materials”.

EFIB – European Forum for Biobased industry and the Bioeconomy

This event, which took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 24th and 25th, 2023 is a major forum in the world of the European bioeconomy, bringing together industrial actors, researchers and policymakers through B2B meetings, working sessions and conferences. Chloé Joly, from our partner Bioeconomy For Change represented ReSolute on this occasion.

CBE JU stakeholder forum

The first Stakeholder forum of the CBE JU in Brussels, on December 6-7 was an opportunity to discuss the future of bioeconomy in Europe. More than 500 stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, industrial actors attended the forum. ReSolute and Cyrene were highlighted during this event, which two of our partners attended. James Clark, from the University of York presented the project to the VIP visitors, and Régis Essis from B4C held a stand presenting the project and its results.


What’s next?

In 2024 advancements and achievements of the project will be showcased in several events, to engage with stakeholders as well as the general public. As raising public awareness on the importance of these bio-based solutions is an important aspect of ReSolute. These events also contribute to find market applications and future customers for CyreneTM. Eventually final event will be organized at the end of the project to share its results!

Green Kid spreads the Cyrene message

Green Kid is a new and unusual comic that teaches us more about Cyrene™ and how it is produced.

The Green Kid comic book is designed to make learning science more fun for children! It is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and is the result of a collaboration between the University of York and Tesside University.

The first comic’s story is about a scientist from 2064, Summer, who comes back to the 2020’s to do something about the climate disaster they are living through in the future. Helped by the character called Green Kid, she learns about green chemistry from the example of Cyrene™.

Through stories, puzzles and games, the Green Kid comic teaches what is the sustainable solvent Cyrene™ and how to produce it.

The Green Kid comic concept is freely available for schools that want to use it.

Download the comic

More information on the website of Circa

EU Green Week 2022

The EU Green Week is one of the main European events dedicated to environmental policy, which occurs yearly. In 2022, the priority was given to “the European Green Deal – the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050“. In that context, from May 30 to June 5, 2022, various virtual events, two days of conferences and several virtual exhibitions were organised.

The European Green Week initiative

The EU Green Week is a key event in the EU environment policy calendar. This annual opportunity  to debate and discuss European environmental policy attracts policymakers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and the globe.

This year, the European Green week  focused on the ‘European Green Deal’. It was articulated around a high level debate on what happens to the EU environmental policy in times of crisis and three important aspects of the transformation: circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity. Dedicated events were organized throughout the week by the European Commission, but also by independent entities.

ReSolute contribution

ReSolute will reduce the dependence of solvent-using industries on non-renewable resources, since CyreneTM is derived from renewable, waste wood (e.g sawdust) and non-food (e.g. crop residues) biomass ressources.

The project will help optimising resource efficiency (and therefore support the EU Circular Economy action plan) by applying a “zero waste” strategy thanks to an optimised production process and valorasing CyreneTM production residues (bio-char) by converting them into activated carbons.


Since the project launch in October 2020, the ReSolute project has progressed well, with significant work undertaken to ensure plant costs are kept within updated estimates. While the preparatory work for ReSolute’s plant has started, the project has received support from all levels of the French government. For example, the project’s coordinator Circa has been awarded a €8.2 million grant by the “France Relance” Programme for the development of the ReSolute plant.
ReSolute’s partners are pleased to share key outcomes of the first 18 months of work:

  • Plant construction in progress
  • Progress on an agreement with the energy producer GazelEnergie
  • French Minister for Industry visited the ReSolute plant
  • Circa awarded €8.2m grant by French government
  • Next Steps

An extra €8.2m grant for the ReSolute project

ReSolute’s partner Circa Group AS has been awarded a grant of 8.2 million euro by the French Government to construct the ReSolute plant. This grant is part of the “France Relance” programme, which is a 100 billion euro initiative to restore the French economy based on ecology, competitiveness and cohesion (more information about the programme here, in French).

Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group AS, said, “We are continually impressed by France’s commitment to building a more sustainable, more self-sufficient, low-carbon economy. This latest Relance grant is recognition of our progress and vision and provides another layer of support for ReSolute, which Circa has received both directly and indirectly from regional and national organisations, and our community of stakeholders.

The ReSolute plant will be the first of its kind industrial plant to produce the solvent CyreneTM, a non-toxic solvent produced from renewable waste cellulosic biomass, which is a high performing alternative to NMD, DMF and DMAc. The plant will be sited in the French region “Grand-Est”.

Read the press release of Circa Group AS here.

Interview – Turning waste biomass into sustainable biochemicals

In January, Bio Market Insight TV interviewed Dr Sarah Hickingbottom, General Manager of Circa Group, about the conversion of waste biomass into biochemicals, the benefits of sustainable solvents and the role of bio-based chemicals in decarbonising industry.

« This is our first plant: it is named the ReSolute plant, it is about renewable solvents. We are located in Northeast of France, it is a EU BBI-JU project of 11.6 million euros. BBI-JU is a fantastic initiative, a public-private partnership from Horizon 2020, the European Commission and private industry through the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Together, they are driving, funding and accelerating the commercialization of those technologies they have picked to have viability.

Circa has done extremely well to be chosen as a flagship project: Project ReSolute. We have an 11 strong consortium from industry (Merck, Huntsman, Talga) and a whole further ecosystem of government: local, national, European levels, industry and supply chains that are all making this ecosystem a reality.

ReSolute is a holistic project where, at the heart of it, we are building a 1,000 ton capacity plant to manufacture Cyrene. We are also looking at the ecosystem to create new supply chains. »

ReSolute welcomed the French Minister for Industry

ReSolute welcomed the French Minister for Industry

The French Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, visited ReSolute’s site on Friday 10 December 2021. She was joined by the President of the Grand Est Region, Jean Rottner.

ReSolute’s plant will be located on the site of Gazel Energie’s Emile-Huchel power station, which will end its coal unit end of March 2022. The peparatory work for ReSolute’s plant have started. It is scheduled to come on stream at the end of 2023.

Resolute’s plant supports the region’s transition from coal-fired power generation to a more sustainable economy providing jobs in clean technologies. The plant is expected to open in 2023. Circa’s president, Xavier Leduc, explained that the environmentally friendly bio-solvent called CyreneTM has already found all customers. The industrial demonstrator will produce 1,000 tons of CyreneTM.

➡️ See press article in French

ReSolute’s Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals

The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is taking take place from 20 to 26 September and the ReSolute project has many contributions to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An initiative that started in 2014 to make visible activities and projects that promote sustainable development, the first ESDW was held in 2015, and calls on local stakeholders to actively engage in sustainable development. The event aim to raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as “The Global Goals for Sustainable Development” are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called “The 2030 Agenda”.

ReSolute’s Contributions?

Under ReSolute, which received €11.6 M in funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under grant agreement No 887432,  the project will contribute to the following 6 SDGs:

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

ReSolute aims for a representative gender balance in the consortium, based on the equal opportunity policy in the recruitment phase. No activities that favor men or women will be implemented.  The project management board will be responsible for verifying the gender ratios in the respective teams of the consortium participants.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

ReSolute, as a producer of valuable chemicals from food biomass, will create a diversified source of growth for paper mills that are often located in rural areas, decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation. In addition, the project will create local jobs with more than 40 direct and 120 indirect jobs, increasing health protection for workers typically exposed to traditional reprotoxic solvents.

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation 

ReSolute will build a first-of-its-kind industrial plant, fostering the creation of new bio-based value chains and establishing new connections between different sectors. The project will implement an innovative and sustainable industrialization process – Furacell™ – that valorizes wood biomass into the platform molecule levoglucosenone (LGO) and its derivative Cyrene™, a safe and high-performance biosolvent that meets market requirements for different applications.

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 

ReSolute will operate the plant as an integrated biorefinery that will convert cellulosic biomass waste into a variety of products without generating waste. Biochar, a residue from the production of Cyrene™, will be converted into activated carbons. Moreover, the process has a low water demand, a high percentage of which can be recirculated, increasing efficiency in the use of natural resources through sustainable management.

SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

ReSolute will accelerate the decarbonization of solvent production from non-renewable resources, as woody and non-food biomass resources, such as sawdust or crop residues, will be valorized. Thus, the carbon footprint of solvents will be reduced compared to their petroleum-based equivalent. Furthermore, Cyrene™ contains no N heteroatoms (unlike NMP, DMF and DMAc) and no S heteroatoms (unlike DMSO), which means that pollutant emissions of NOx and/or SOx are avoided during its use or at the end of its useful life, if burned.

SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

To reduce marine pollution of all kinds from land-based activities, Resolute will produce a biosolvent-Cyrene™-which has been shown to be readily biodegradable and to have no effect on fish, aquatic invertebrates, cyanobacteria and microorganisms.

SDG 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

ReSolute biosolvent, which can be recycled without problems by reduced pressure distillation, will increase the protection of nature. Finally, in recognition of its positive impact on the environment, Cyrene won Top Product 2019 in the Environmental Leader (EL) and Energy Manager Today (EMT) awards in May 2019 and was awarded Business Intelligence’s Sustainability Product of the Year in August 2019.

Registration for the event here: https://esdw.eu/register/

RESOLUTE at the next IFIB 2021

The ReSolute project will be present at the two-day event entitled International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy.

The forum, which will take place from September 30 to October 1 in Trento, northern Italy, aims to strengthen the circular bioeconomy network in the Euro-Mediterranean area and to promote partnerships between the different actors involved in its value chain such as start-ups, large companies, universities, and public & private research centres.

ReSolute will be presented as a success story of the industrialization of a biocircular pathway by a start-up. Christophe Luguel, European Director of the IAR cluster, will give an oral lecture in which he will present different European projects that are scaling up their innovation to the commercial phase. 

The event will be held in hybrid due to COVID-19, and registration is now open!

To know more: https://ifibwebsite.com/


The project, which will run for 36 months from October 2020 to September 2023, has a total budget of €23 M and has received funding of €11.6 M from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under grant agreement No 887674. The BBI-JU is a public-private partnership supported by the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation Programme and the Bio-Based Industries Consortium (BIC). During the 7 years of the programme (2014-2020), BBI-JU has funded several flagship biorefineries across Europe and ReSolute is one of them.


Conference details

IFIB, September30 – October 1, 2021 |Hybrid

Organizers: Assobiotec-Federchimica, Cluster Spring and InnovHub

Registration: https://ifib-2021.b2match.io/signup

RESOLUTE’s communication tools launched

ReSolute launches social medias and website

The ReSolute project, which has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under grant agreement No 887432, comprises 11 partners from 6 European countries. 

ReSolute is glad to put its social medias accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter and its website online, where will be presented the project concept, objectives, impacts and partners and their role within the project. Information about the partners and activities related to the ReSolute project will also be relayed through social media. News related to project progress and event participation will be shared to keep you informed of the latest developments.

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