New bio-solvent approved for sale in the EU

Friday 25 Jan 2019

Australia's Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck has welcomed news that a world-first ‘bio-based’ alternative to fossil-fuel-based solvent developed in Tasmania is now approved for sale in the European Union.

“The Liberal National Government provided AU$1.5 million to pulp and paper company Norske Skog to support the development of the non-toxic, bio-based solvent, called Cyrene™,” Minister Colbeck said.

“That funding established the feasibility of building a commercial-scale advanced manufacturing facility in Tasmania to produce platform and specialty biochemicals from certified, renewable plantation forest biomass wastes.

“The end product is Cyrene™, which is developed through the conversion of waste biomass produced at Circa Group’s large-scale prototype plant, which was built in conjunction with Norske Skog.

“The facility is the first of its kind. Like Cyrene™, products from the new facility will be destined for global export into pharma and agrichemical industries with a need to replace a range of existing toxic, fossil-derived chemicals with safer alternatives.

“The European Union is cracking down on some hazardous chemicals and approval for these new products shows how our innovative forestry industry can tap into these types of markets. It also demonstrates how the emerging global forest economy is creating opportunities for the Australian forest and wood products industry to use all parts of the tree to create innovative bioproducts”.

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