Scottish group wants to turn fish guts into fashion

October 18, 2021 |

In the United Kingdom, research is underway to convert seafood waste into adipic acid, a precursor material for nylon. 

The consortium includes  researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, seafood producer Farne Salmon, and Impact Solutions, an independent plastics laboratory in Scotland. The group has genetically modified bacteria to convert the fatty components of fish waste into adipic acid and other undisclosed, but useful, byproducts. 

The traditional petrochemical route to producing adipic acid is particularly bad for the environment because it produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. 

 “Exploring sustainable bio-based alternatives to petrochemical-based processes is an important step in Scotland’s efforts to reach net zero, and there is a huge opportunity to make more use of co-products and extract value from industrial waste as part of that,” Liz Fletcher, director of business engagement at IBioIC, tells  The Fish Site. 

The UK’s fish processing industry generates just under half a million tons of waste annually.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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