Surfactants Market Growth Trends and Forecasts 2022-2027: Growth of the Oleo Chemicals Market Driving the Demand for Bio-based Surfactants -

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The surfactants market was estimated at over USD 36 billion in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of over 4% in terms of revenue during the forecast period 2022-2027.

Key Highlights

  • Over the short term, the growing personal care industry in Asia-Pacific and the growing demand for oleochemicals are driving the growth of the surfactants market.
  • Household soap and detergent is the largest application for surfactants in terms of volume. Surfactants are used as ingredients in a variety of products in the personal care segment, such as foaming agents, dispersants, emulsifiers, solubilizing agents, cleansers, and conditioners, among others. The personal care industry accounted for a healthy share of the global market, thereby augmenting the growth of the market.
  • Environmental issues address certain key concerns that include toxicity, biodegradability, eutrophication, and lifecycle analysis. One of the biggest challenges faced by the surfactants industry is the level of the environmental effect caused by the use of its various products, like detergents. This is likely to hinder the market growth.
  • As the demand for specialty surfactants is growing rapidly in various applications, the market for specialty surfactants is projected to increase drastically during the forecast period, thus, providing opportunities for innovations in application-specific products.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market and is also likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

Anionic Surfactants to Dominate the Market

  • Anionic surfactant belongs to the class of surface-active reagents, in which the head of the surfactant macromolecule remains negatively charged. This allows it to bind to impurities and particles suspended in the liquid.
  • Anionic surfactants account for approximately half of the total share of the surfactants market. A growing focus on environmental regulations is expected to increase the demand for anionic surfactants.
  • Anionic surfactants are widely used for industrial as well as household cleaning and for pesticide formulations. Of the anionic surfactants, biodegradable linear alkylbenzenesulfonates (LAS) are the most common and can be found in waste water systems and river water.
  • Anionic surfactants work best to remove dirt, clay, and some oily stains. These surfactants work following ionization. When added to water, the anionic surfactants ionize and have a negative charge. The negatively charged surfactants bind to positively charged particles like clay. Anionic surfactants are effective in removing particulate soils
  • Some of the most-used anionic surfactants are sulfonic acid salts, alcohol sulfates, phosphoric acid esters, alkyl benzene sulfonates, and carboxylic acid salts.
  • Increasing demand for anionic surfactants in cosmetic products, such as skin care and hair care products in personal care application, owing to its superior characteristics, such as foaming, cleansing, thickening, solubilizing, emulsifying, antimicrobial effects, penetration enhancement, and other special effects, is expected to boost the market demand.
  • The current market demand for environment-friendly alternatives has led to a boost in demand for bio-based anionic surfactants.

Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market

  • In Asia-Pacific, China was the largest consumer of surfactants, and the country is likely to continue its dominance during the forecast period.
  • The market for the Soap, Washing Powder and Synthetic Detergent Manufacturing industry in China is expected to increase at an annualized 5.0% over the five years through 2021. In 2021, industry revenue is expected to total $54.2 billion.
  • The output from the China chemical industry is essential in various products, which include soaps, detergents, and cosmetics, etc. There are more than 60 manufacturers of washing, care, and cleaning agents, present in the country. However, the market studied is dominated by global players, such as BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG. China is also one of the largest exporters of soaps and detergent products.
  • Moreover, India is one of the largest producers of soaps in the world. The per capita consumption of toilet/bathing soap in the country is around 800 grams. Around 65% of the Indian population resides in rural areas, and the increasing disposable incomes and growth in rural markets are making the consumers shift to premium products. This shift is expected to drive the market for surfactants in the country.

Market Dynamics


  • Growing Personal Care Industry in Asia-Pacific
  • Growth of the Oleo Chemicals Market Driving the Demand for Bio-based Surfactants


  • Increasing Focus on Environmental Regulations
  • Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on the Market

Companies Mentioned

  • 3M
  • Arkema
  • Ashland
  • Bayer AG
  • Cepsa
  • Clariant
  • Croda International PLC
  • Dow
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Galaxy
  • Godrej Industries Limited
  • Innospec
  • Kao Corporation
  • KLK Oleo
  • Nouryon
  • Oxiteno
  • P&G Chemicals
  • Reliance Industries Ltd
  • Sanyo Chemical
  • Sasol
  • Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical
  • Solvay
  • Stepan Company

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Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900