Cyrene: A bio-based sustainable solvent for organic synthesis

Dickson Kong, Anton V. Dolzhenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Cyrene (dihydrolevoglucosenone) is a green dipolar aprotic solvent prepared by pyrolysis of cellulose-containing biomass. Cyrene possesses a beneficial occupational health and safety profile combined with good biodegradability without NOx or SOx production. Since 2014, when Cyrene was for the first time introduced as a green solvent, it has attracted much attention in different fields. In this review, we discuss organic reactions, for which Cyrene was employed to play the role of medium. Significant progress was achieved in the replacement of conventional aprotic solvents by Cyrene as a safe and sustainable alternative. Cyrene demonstrated to be an effective medium for diverse chemical transformations, from carbon-carbon coupling reactions to bio-catalyzed processes and polymerization. The applications of Cyrene as a co-solvent (e.g. in form of aqueous solutions) for organic synthesis are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100591
Number of pages16
JournalSustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Bio-based solvent
  • Cyrene
  • Dihydrolevoglucosenone
  • Green solvent
  • Sustainable organic synthesis

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