Global biosurfactants market is anticipated to generate demand of over 340,000 tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of around 4% from 2014 to 2020. Absence of direct bio based substitutes of these products is expected to be one of the major factors driving the market over the forecast period.
Biosurfactants are surface-active compounds manufactured from several bio-based raw materials such as plant oil, plant carbohydrate and animal oil. Biosurfactants are excellent alternatives for synthetic surfactants and are the best emulsifiers that help in maintaining, temperature & pH tolerance, antimicrobial, wet & foaming properties. Few other factors such as growth of the global personal care industry and rising environmental concern over consumption of synthetic surfactants are yet another factor expected to drive the product demand.
Detergents and personal care products are its main end use applications. Biosurfactants such as APE (Alkyl phenol ethoxylates) &LAS (Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfates) have been also used as substitutes for synthetic ones in sewage treatment plants. Environmental friendly nature, non-toxicity, low irritancy, biodegradability and safety of handling these products are some of the major advantages for these over the synthetic ones.
New production techniques and increasing applications in bioremediation, oilfield chemicals, industrial and institutional cleaners are anticipated to create new opportunities for the industry. However, these products being costlier compared to the synthetic ones and its low availability are expected to restraint the market in the new future.
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Methyl Ester Sulfonate (MES) was the largest product segment in 2013 accounting for over 30% of the overall market. Increasing consumer awareness for bio based products makes it the preferred choice for the manufacturer in the present scenario. Demand of other products including sucrose esters, alkyl polyglucosides (apg), and sorbitan esters are also anticipated to increase in the next six years.
Other biosurfactants namely non-ionic surfactants, anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants and polymeric surfactants are used as emulsifying agents in a wide range of end use segments such as textiles, personal care, construction, fuel sectors, and paper. Some of its important properties include its versatility, electrolytic, shear & thermal stability. Another product named rhamnolipids is used to degrade waste of hydrocarbons and also plays a major role in the cosmetic industry.
Major applications of biosurfactants include food processing, textiles, agricultural chemical, household detergents, personal care, bioremediation, oilfield chemicals, industrial and institutional cleaners. Currently, these products have found various applications in oil field chemical owing to their cleaning abilities and stability.
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Europe was the leading regional segment in 2013. Asia Pacific is expected to experience moderate growth over the next few years owing to growing application sectors in countries such as China and India. Demand in Europe and North America have also been increasing in the past few years owing to rising consumer awareness for bio based products in the region.
Some of the leading industry players include BASF, Saraya, MG INtobio, Ecover, and Urumqui Unite. These companies account for around 90% of the global production annually. Other companies in the market include Akzo Nobel N.V, DuPont de Nemours & Co, Clariant AG, AGAE Technologies, Soliance and Jeneil Biotech.
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