Introducing Spherelose®

Spherelose® is a ground-breaking new surfactant technology inspired by the sustainable forestry industry.

Spherelose® is a drop-in, bio-sourced, biodegradable replacement for a wide range of existing surfactants.

Spherelose® can be made from off-cuts of sustainably harvested timber which have been turned into wood pulp. This means Spherelose® can leverage an existing, massive global supply chain.

Spherelose® is the first particle surfactant.


Until now, surfactants have always been molecules, in other words, chemical compounds.

What sets Spherelose® apart is that it’s made of particles, each thousands of times bigger than the molecules that make up other surfactants.

This image shows what Spherelose® particles look like under an electron microscope. They’re small balls of cellulose around 0.2um across. Cellulose is the most common biomaterial made by living organisms on the planet – it’s what holds up plants and trees.

Spherelose® particles are truly tiny: 5,000 of them laid edge to edge in a line would be only 1mm long.

More than just tiny cellulose spheres.

As if being a particle of cellulose wasn’t enough to make Spherelose® stand out in the world of surfactants, we have done something truly amazing to them.

Spherelose particles have one side covered in natural plant oils.

This artist’s concept shows what a single Spherelose® particle would look like if you could zoom in even further.

After making tiny cellulose particles, we turn them into Spherelose® by coating one side of each particle with a plant oil such as canola oil, sunflower oil or olive oil. This makes that side ‘lipophilic’, meaning it mixes well with oil or oily substances such as dirt. The bare cellulose side is ‘hydrophilic’, meaning it mixes well with water.

That makes Spherelose® particles ‘amphiphilic’, which is the key property of surfactants – they allow oil and water to mix.

Artist's impression of a Spherelose particle

Lipophilic side covered in plant oil

Hydrophilic side of exposed cellulose

Made by waste-free reassembly

Molecular surfactants are made by chemically combining several ingredients to make a new chemical. Often, unwanted chemicals are created too – waste streams that need to be disposed of.

In contrast, the Spherelose® process is largely a physical rearrangement of cellulose from wood pulp into tiny spheres. We then attach plant oil to the surface through a chemical process that releases the only ‘waste’ product – and it’s one that’s used extensively in the cosmetics and personal care industry already.

In principle the Spherelose® process produces no waste and is almost completely closed loop.