Why Are Specialty Surfactants So Special?

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What makes a specialty surfactants so special? Is it the better performance? Do they also have other uses? Read along to get interesting insights!

Speciality surfactants are mostly used as co-surfactants along with commodity surfactants. They are a fundamental ingredient in a number of domestic and industrial applications. Speciality surfactants remove stains and dirt from the surface being cleansed. These products are used in shampoos, conditioners and body washes. They are usually extracted from petrochemical and oleo chemical sources

What are various types of specialty surfactants?

Anionic Surfactants: These products carry negative charge and are widely used in shampoos. They can be found in the form of sulphonates, sulphosuccinates, etc.

Cationic Surfactants: Cationic surfactants form one of the smallest surfactant categories in terms of volume and value. They are used mainly in rinses and hair conditioners.

Non-ionic Surfactants- These surfactants have no charge, and thus are resistant to deactivation in water with a high mineral content; hence, they are particularly efficient grease removers.

Amphoteric Surfactants- These products have varied charge, based on the pH of the solution they are placed in. They have excellent dermatological properties and are frequently used in shampoos, skin cleansers, and other cosmetics.

Why green specialty surfactants?

Specialty surfactants are facing many environmental concerns over the issues of them being biodegradable and environment friendly. The increasing consumer desire for ‘green’ products from the consumer have created an uncertain market.

Amphoteric surfactants, amidoamines, esters, alkoxylates and quats are some of the green surfactants that are available in the marketplace. They usually come in a combination with conventional surfactants. But the drawback faced by them is their high prices. Due to this these products are currently available in a very niche segment i.e. some natural brands. Instead of producing a new green surfactants many companies have adopted a policy of making the production process of their current surfactant green. This can be done by reducing the consumption on non-renewable fuels, decreasing direct emissions and using enzymatic process to speed up the reaction.

A report by a market research firm estimates a moderate growth rate for global specialty surfactant market.

Specialty surfactants keep the dirt in a water solution to prevent it from being re-deposited onto the surface it was removed from. Surfactants are able to disperse non-water-soluble contaminants, which is why they are used in addition to water for cleaning purposes. Owing to the big middle class population Asia-Pacific is seen as the fastest growing region.

The main hurdles for the specialty surfactants market are; the increased popularity of using green products and environmental restrictions imposed on the manufacturing process

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