According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the global Natural Surfactants market was valued at USD 14.3 Billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 20.9 Billion by the year 2026, at a CAGR of 4.9 %. They are mixed with oils, waters, and other liquids to lower the surface tension, a prerequisite for wetting, spreading, foaming, and emulsification. Through a chemical process known as adsorption, surfactants change the properties of a substance. The term adsorption means the gathering of gas or liquid in a condensed layer on the surface. This condensed layer creates a film which is why the surface tension is lowered. The chemical reaction which then occurs is the conversing of the liquid and the additional substance, which in turn lowers surface tension. Natural Surfactants are extracted from biomass such as cereals, vegetables, oilseeds, co-products, and waste. It can serve as excellent foaming agents and emulsifiers. Their performance under critical conditions and greater diversity endorse their use in various industries. While examining potential biomass sources, parameters like production process feasibility, scalability, cost, formulation, and impact on deforestation and global warming are considered essential. As consumers become more aware of the ingredients in the products they put on their skin and use in their homes, many have come to view surfactants as “bad” ingredients. In fact, there are numerous choices for natural surfactants in cosmetics, and they work to improve the integrity and performance of cosmetic formulations. Less toxicity and renewable nature of bio-based products along with environmental benefits like reduction of CO2 emission and reducing greenhouse effect are factors giving rise to increasing demand. Possibility of large-scale production is a crucial opportunity that can be utilized for further propulsion of the market.

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Growth of end-use industries like personal care, oilfield chemicals, and agricultural chemicals, among others play a vital role in the industry. Also, the availability of cheap raw material is a significant driver for the market.

Low productivity and expensive downstream processing can prove to be hurdles for the industry market. Downstream processing cost accounts for almost 60% of the total production cost.

The industry consists of major players like BASF (Germany), The Dow Chemical Company (US), Croda International (UK), Huntsman Corporation (US), Air Products and Chemicals (US), and Clariant (Switzerland), among a few others, collectively constituting a competitive market 

Natural Surfactants Industry Overview

The global materials & chemicals industry revenue growth can be majorly attributed to increasing demand for essential consumer goods including soaps, detergents, and beauty & personal care products worldwide, rising preference for sustainable and eco-friendly raw materials, and growing use of advanced chemicals and raw materials in industries including agriculture, food & beverage industries, buildings & construction, automotive, packaging, and manufacturing industries. Other major factors driving growth of this industry are rising pollution levels, increasing environmental awareness, increasing use of technologically advanced chemicals and materials, and rising demand for organic materials.

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Further key findings from the report suggest

  • New products like vanillin-nonionic surfactant, tannic acid–fatty acid nonionic surfactants, furan methane sulfonates, etc. being developed and used in the market pose greater opportunities in further R&D and thus augment the market growth
  • The anionic product segment is expected to reach USD 6.60 Billion by the year 2026
  • Cationic surfactants are the opposite of anionic surfactants. They have a positively charged water-loving head. This positive charge enables cationic material to deliver nourishing benefits to skin, hair, and body, but used alone, do not have high foaming capabilities. These are often used where foaming isn’t necessary, such as in hair conditioners.
  • Oilfield chemicals end-use is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5 % during the forecast period
  • Cleaning processes require direct application of surfactants or solvents, which most often generate further environmental problems due to the accumulation of these toxic substances. The majority of available materials are synthesized from petroleum derivatives. However, environmental laws have motivated the development of natural base materials as an alternative to existing products.
  • It can reduce surface and interfacial tension. Capabilities like phase separation and viscosity reduction make it a popular chemical choice
  • For the production, various substrates, including dairy whey, oil wastes, molasses, starchy waste, animal fat can be used.
  • Algae, insects, lignocellulosic biomass, etc. are other biomass sources that are under development for exploitation for natural surfactants
  • Antimicrobial and insecticidal properties possessed by the material allow them to be widely used in agricultural chemicals application. Their use also facilitates even distribution of fertilizer in the soil and help obtain higher wettability
  • Purification is achieved by employing methods like methods ion exchange, adsorption-desorption, solvent extractions, acid precipitation, and centrifugation
  • Demand for specialty surfactants is rising giving rise to the development of application-specific bio-based surfactants

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For the purpose of this report, Reports and Data has segmented the Natural Surfactants market on the basis of product type, application, and region:

Product Type Outlook (Revenue in Billion USD; Volume in Kilotons; 2016–2026)

  • Anionic
  • Nonionic
  • Cationic
  • Amphoteric

Application Outlook (Revenue in Billion USD; Volume in Kilotons; 2016–2026)

  • Detergents
  • Personal Care
  • Industrial & Institutional Cleaning
  • Oilfield Chemicals
  • Agricultural Chemicals
  • Others

Regional Outlook (Revenue in Billion USD; Volume in Kilotons; 2016–2026)

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America

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