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
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”.
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
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.
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”.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The ReSolute project – HIGH PERFORMING AND SAFE SOLVENT DERIVED FROM CELLULOSIC FEEDSTOCKS – brings together 11 European partners and was launched on October 15, 2020, online. The project will build and successfully operate a first-of-its-kind flagship plant that will sustainably produce the platform molecule levoglucosenone (LGO) and Cyrene™, a safe, high-performance biosolvent.
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 887432. 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.
The plant will be located in the Grand-Est region of France and will convert sawdust and wood waste into Cyrene™ using the FuracellTM process, followed by catalytic hydrogenation. This two-step process produces a bio-based chemical that has great potential to replace NMP, DMF and DMAc in a wide range of application sectors such as pharmaceuticals, wastewater treatment, coatings, energy storage and inks.