Green Surfactants Market: Overview
Surfactants can be broadly defined as molecules consisting of hydrophilic and hydrophobic portions. A majority of surfactants are made from petroleum ingredients, which is a non-renewable source. Traditional surfactants are facing a significant increase in the regulatory scrutiny worldwide, due to their poor biodegradability and questionable toxicity profile. Synthetic surfactants impart toxic effects such as skin and eye irritation, neurotoxicity, and mutations in human beings upon prolonged usage.
Therefore, alternatives (generically known as green surfactants) for traditional surfactants are being developed worldwide for use as substitutes in several applications.
Green surfactants are made entirely from renewable resources. They are referred to as glycolipids. These surfactants are readily biodegradable and they exhibit low toxicity. Green surfactants are made using a variety of carbohydrates (sugars) for the hydrophilic portion and a variety of natural fats and oils for the hydrophobic portion of the target molecule. All materials employed for the production of green surfactants are derived from natural resources. A few of green surfactants currently available in the market are rhamnolipids, rhamnosides, and other glycolipid surfactants.
Regulatory bodies such as Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Organic Consumers Association, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are jointly working in order to observe the effect of surfactants on humans.
Green Surfactants Market: Dynamics and Trends
In recent years, natural fats or oils are amalgamated into a carbohydrate to form surfactants known as glycolipids. Carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose, and sorbitol are the most abundant sugars available for the manufacture of glycolipid surfactants. Glycolipids such as sorbitan esters, sucrose esters, and alkyl polyglycosides (APGs) are currently the industrial leaders as raw materials for production capacity for green surfactants.
Due to improved biodegradability and less toxicity, there has been increase in the use of sugar-based (green) surfactants. These surfactants are derived from renewable and natural resources. At the commercial level, sugar-based surfactants have been available since more than a decade now. Sugar-derived surfactants are used in the category of products for skin care and laundry. They offer more sustainable and stable varieties, which can be used in consumer products. This drives the demand for sugar-derived surfactants.
Green Surfactants Market: Segmentation
The green surfactants market can be segmented by types of surfactant into hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfactants, by method of production into petroleum-based surfactants and bio-based surfactants, and by region into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Petroleum-based surfactants can be sub-segmented into amino acid derivatives, betains, and others; whereas bio-based surfactants can be sub-segmented into carbohydrates, fats/oils, and others.
Green Surfactants Market: Region-wise Outlook
North America and Europe are the leading manufacturers and consumers of green surfactants. The market in these regions possesses high growth potential. Stringent regulatory policies and growing concerns of consumers regarding the usage of synthetic products in food and non-food applications (household goods) are factors anticipated to drive the market for bio-based surfactants in developed regions such as North America and Europe during the forecast period. Asia Pacific has high growth potential for manufacturing and consumption of bio-based surfactants, due to more stringent regulations about toxicity and large consumption in the region.
Green Surfactants Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the Green surfactants market include Tate & Lyle Plc, ADM, Cargill, Inc., Du Pont, DSM, Ingredion Incorporated, Roquette Freres, and Südzucker AG Company.
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