Valmet has signed a Heads of Agreement with Circa to industrialize the production of sustainable biochemicals at Circa’s small-scale ReSolute plant in France and future large-scale production plants.
Valmet will offer the main machinery and equipment and actively contribute to the development of Circa’s production processes of bio-based renewable solvents. The bio-based solvents will replace harmful petroleum-based solvents used in a wide variety of industries.
“We are very pleased to join forces with Valmet. Cooperation will provide great support for Circa’s growth ambitions and leverage Valmet’s strong focus on driving the green shift. Valmet’s experience with fluidized bed boilers and biomass-to-energy solutions will be a significant resource in successfully realizing and optimizing our production process at scale,” says Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group.
“Sustainability is at the core of Valmet’s business strategy and operations. By providing experience and expertise to companies like Circa, Valmet will achieve its goal of converting renewable resources into sustainable results. We have been highly impressed by Circa’s team and ambition and look forward to working closely with them to realize their objectives,” says Bertel Karlstedt, President, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet.
The ReSolute plant will produce 1,100 tons of bio-based solvent called CyreneTM. The agreed long-term objective is to develop deployable modules with a capacity of 10-15 thousand tons per annum. The modules can operate separately or in multiples, depending on local feedstock and supporting infrastructure availability. In the second half of 2022, Valmet and Circa will initiate conceptual engineering for a large-scale plant. Circa’s plan is to reach an annual production capacity of 80,000 tons by 2030.
Valmet will offer equipment for biomass handling, a pyrolysis system and a Valmet CFB Boiler for energy production as well as a Valmet DNA Automation System, first for the ReSolute plant project and later on for the future plants.
Valmet has developed its pyrolysis technology since the 1990s at its pilot plant in Tampere, Finland. In 2013, Valmet supplied the world’s largest industrial-scale biomass fast pyrolysis plant to Fortum in Joensuu, Finland.
Established in 2006, Circa Group converts waste, non-food biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary Furacell™ process. Its developing product portfolio includes flavors, biopolymers, and bio-solvents including Cyrene™, an alternative to traditional polar aprotic solvents. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from non-food, surplus biomass and contributing to industry as it transitions to a more circular economy. In March 2021, Circa Group listed on the Euronext Growth Market in Oslo, Norway.