With six-figure funding support from the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), Eco Clean is aiming to develop a more sustainable alternative to traditionally petrochemical-based surfactants, one which can be produced at scale.

Surfactants – aka surface active agents – are used in detergents to disrupt the surface tension on the item being cleaned, helping to trap and remove dirt. Different types of surfactants are used as wetting agents, emulsifiers and foaming agents for a range of products.

Eco Clean’s circular approach uses waste from the growing Scottish aquaculture sector to create the valuable chemical compounds, focusing in particular on the fish oils rich in fatty acids which account for around a quarter of the sector’s total by-product output. In 2020, the sector produced around 192,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon and it has ambitions to grow its economic output to £3.6bn by 2030, highlighting the scale of the opportunity for a more...