Scouring is the chemical cleansing process which is either carried out at room or at a suitable high temperature with the addition of suitable wetting agents. The scouring process helps in removal of the waxes, oils, gums, and other impurities from the textile material and makes it water absorbent or hydrophilic. As the raw material for fabrics such as cotton contain 5% to 15% impurities natural or added, pre-treatment of the raw material is necessary before textile dyeing process. The scouring process mainly depends on the type of cotton, the cleanliness of cotton or textile fiber, the color of cotton and the twist of the yarn.

As scouring agents are used in cleansing action of fabrics these are in wide demand in textile industry. The growth of textile sector would act as a major driver for scouring agents market. The current market of scouring agents is mainly concentrated in developed regions of Europe and the U.S. and to a large extent in China. The current share of Asia Pacific is expected to increase with high potential demand from countries especially India and Bangladesh and several countries in Middle East showing high prospective growth in textile industry.

Scouring Agents Market: Key End Users and Applications

Scouring agents have numerous enviable characteristics such as excellent cleansing ability of natural fibers such as cotton and wool. The scouring agents contain abrasive powders of uniform size which make the refinement process faster. Scouring process involves three steps carried out in iron vessels called kiers. The three processes are saponification, emulsification and detergency.

Usually scouring agent such as sodium hydroxide is used for scouring cotton fabric, however due to potential damage of cotton fabric by sodium hydroxide; biological agent such as enzyme is preferred. Scouring agents show low foaming and high performance nonionic detergent properties making them suitable for the preparation of cotton and synthetic fabrics. There are several scouring agents used for scouring purposes such as silicates, linear alkyl benzene sulphonates, alkyl phenol ethoxylates, phosphates, ethoxylated alcohols, fatty alcohol sulfates etc. As every scouring agent does not reflect optimum properties in every regard choice of scouring agents matters a lot for each fabric. The different properties that are reflected mainly include that of foaming tendency, viscosity, ability to work with enzymes and acids.

Scouring Agents Market: Region-wise Outlook

The emerging economies of Asia Pacific are expected to witness the fastest growth for scouring agents in the next few years. The chief reason for this is the growing demand for scouring agents in textile industry for pre-treatment of fabrics. The ever increasing population with high growth in demand for superior cleaning and better properties of the textiles will add the necessary demand for this market.

As the current market for scouring agents is concentrated in developed regions such as the U.S. and European countries, the gradual recovery from the sluggish growth will help this market to show a positive trend in coming few years. The major shift in production of textile fabrics from developed to developing nations considering the cost parameter has led to the shift of the requirement of these chemicals to emerging economies.

Scouring Agents Market: Competition Landscape

The key players operating in the scouring agents market are companies like BASF SE, DuPont, Sasol, Cytec Industries, Whewell Chemical Manufacturers, Fineotex Chemical Ltd., Croda International, Clariant Corporation, Huntsman Corporation, Stepan Company, Galaxy Surfactants Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, Ineos, Kimyagaran Emrooz Chemical Industries, and Cavalier Woolscourers.     

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