Surfactants or wetting agents are organic compounds, which when added to water or any other liquid, reduces its surface tension, thereby causing the liquid to easily spread over the surface of a material or increase the ability of a liquid to penetrate into the material. Textile Surfactants can be manufactured from renewable raw materials such as natural oils, fatty acids, lignin, polyglycerol, sugar by-products and oleochemicals and petroleum products. Surfactants find applications as key ingredient in industrial and consumer cleaning substances, which include cleansing agents, emulsifiers, dispersants, foaming and de-foaming agents. Surfactants are widely used in personal care products, in detergents, in paints and coatings, in agrochemicals, in metal works, in construction, in oil field and other applications.
Apart from these, textile surfactants play an important role in textile industry as one of the chemicals to enhance the manufacturing process. In industry, textile surfactants are used as antistatic, untangling and softening agents in different processes of textile manufacturing such as scouring, lubrication, dyeing and finishing. Textile surfactants contain both water loving (hydrophilic) and water hating (hydrophobic) parts. Based on hydrophilic part, textile surfactants are segmented into anionic, cationic, non-ionic and amphoteric surfactants. Anionic surfactants such as carboxylates, sulphonates and alkyl ether phosphates are used as dye dispersants; cationic surfactants such as alkylamine ethoxylates and quaternary ammonium compounds are used for fabric softening; non-ionic surfactants such as ethoxylates, fatty acids ethoxylate, fatty alcohol ethoxylates and fatty amine ethoxylates are used as washing/dispersing agents, whereas amphoteric surfactants are applied in combination with cationic or anionic surfactants.
Increased spending, in terms of fashion and high-class interiors, has increased demand for textiles, as a result of which there is strong demand for textile surfactants in the industry. As there are many players in the textile industry, owing to continuous change in preferences of people, competition among them would constantly bring more advancement in textile quality and thus is expected to drive the market for textile surfactants in near future. Technical textile includes medical applications, geotextiles, agro-textiles, etc. Rising demand from these segments would stimulate the growth of textile, which ultimately would accelerate the textile surfactants demand in textile industries. Technical textiles are also used in environmental protection applications and such environmental beneficial projects are expected to boost eco-tech textiles, which would keep demand for surfactants rising.
The main restraint, which may hamper the demand for use of textile surfactants is government regulations for utilization of eco-friendly products. Disposal of synthetic surfactants into lakes and rivers leave adverse environmental impact, which limits the growth of synthetic textile surfactants market. This in-turn has raised the demand for bio-based textile surfactants, which will bring opportunities for market growth.
With growing economies and increasing population of developing countries of Asia Pacific and continuous demand for new trends in textile segment, this region leads the market of textile manufacturing, owing to which there is high demand for surfactants in textile sector. Also, India and China lie among top exporters of textiles, so manufacturers in this region are expected to witness significant rise in demand for surfactants.
Western Europe and North America possess a large base of key players in surfactants manufacturing. The surfactant market is stagnant in this region. European commission encourages the policies that are beneficial for environment, owing to which surfactants produced from renewable raw materials is expected to find large market in this region. Japan Textile Federation is aiming to push development in Japan textile industries, which is also expected to bolster the demand for surfactants in this region during the forecast period.
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