Innovation That Matters

| Photo source AmphiStar

Cleaning up a key ingredient in household products


How is one company using biowaste to create sustainable surfactants?

Spotted: Surfactants (short for SURFace ACTive AgeNTs) are a key component in products like industrial cleaners, shampoos, and cosmetics and demand for them is growing. Currently, however, most surfactants are derived from fossil fuels or palm oil, with production also often powered by fossil fuels.

Taking an entirely different approach is Belgian company AmphiStar. AmphiStar’s patented industrial biotechnology process uses bio-based waste feedstocks for its microbial, fermentation-based production of surfactants.

Focusing on using local, renewable biomass feedstocks from the agri-food industry enables AmphiStar to completely eliminate the need for palm oil in its biosurfactants. And, microbial production further cleans up the manufacturing process by eliminating the need for toxic chemicals.

Because it uses an exceptionally productive strain of yeast, the company is able to generate high-purity products. That purity provides clients with a highly reliable ingredient base for consistent chemical reactions that are non-toxic, anti-microbial, and completely customisable. AmphiStar works closely with customers to design exactly the right mix of ingredients for the desired application, while ensuring that its biological surfactants perform as direct replacements for traditional versions, enabling manufacturers to easily and quickly switch to the more sustainable ingredient.

A recent €6 million round of funding will help AmphiStar to kickstart commercial production of its biosurfactants with external partners, continue R&D to optimise its platform and bring down costs, and expand its team. Company co-founder and COO Sophie Roelants told Springwise that AmphiStar is also working to complete necessary regulatory certifications and hopes to start construction of its own production facility next year.

Springwise has also spotted bio-based surfactants that replace palm oil in manufacturing and new production processes that reduce emissions from manufacturing.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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