Surfactants Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Surfactants Market is segmented by Type (Anionic Surfactants, Cationic Surfactants, Non-ionic Surfactants, Amphoteric Surfactants, Silicone Surfactants, and Other Types), Origin (Synthetic Surfactants and Bio-based Surfactants), Application (Household Soaps and Detergents, Personal Care, Lubricants and Fuel Additives, Industry and Institutional Cleaning, Food Processing, Oilfield Chemicals, Agricultural Chemicals, Textile Processing, Emulsion Polymerization, and Other Applications), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa). For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kiloton) and revenue (USD million).

Market Snapshot

Surfactants Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >4 %
Surfactants Market Major Players

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Market Overview

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).

The market was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2021. Several countries were forced to go into lockdown due to the pandemic scenario, which led people to minimize the usage of personal vehicles, creating a negative impact on the lubricant and fuel demand and, in turn, decreasing the demand for fuel additives and surfactants. However, the consciousness regarding personal hygiene and clean surroundings has increased in the current situation, which has stimulated the demand for personal and household cleaning products, thus enhancing the market growth of surfactants.

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 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 grow 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 it is also likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

Surfactants are materials that lower the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid. It may act as a wetting agent, emulsifier, foaming agent, and dispersant in products like paints, emulsions, adhesives, inks, biocides (sanitizers), shampoos, toothpaste, firefighting (foams), detergents, insecticides, and others. The surfactants market is segmented by type, origin, application, and geography. By type, the market is segmented into anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants, non-ionic surfactants, amphoteric surfactants, silicone surfactants, and other types. By origin, the market is segmented into synthetic surfactants and bio-based surfactants. By application, the market is segmented into household soaps and detergents, personal care, lubricants and fuel additives, industry and institutional cleaning, food processing, oilfield chemicals, agricultural chemicals, textile processing, emulsion polymerization, and other applications. By geography, the market is segmented into Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the surfactants market in 14 countries across the major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kiloton) and value (USD million).

Anionic Surfactants
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfolane (LAS or LABS)
Alcohol Ethoxy Sulfates (AES)
Alpha Olefin Sulfonates (AOS)
Secondary Alkane Sulfonate (SAS)
Methyl Ester Sulfonates (MES)
Other Types of Anionic Surfactants
Cationic Surfactants
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
Other Types of Cationic Surfactants
Non-ionic Surfactants
Alcohol Ethoxylates
Ethoxylated Alkyl-phenols
Fatty Acid Esters
Other Non-ionic Surfactants
Amphoteric Surfactants
Silicone Surfactants
Other Types
Synthetic Surfactants
Bio-based Surfactants
Chemically Synthesized Bio-based Surfactants
Household Soaps and Detergents
Personal Care
Lubricants and Fuel Additives
Industry and Institutional Cleaning
Food Processing
Oilfield Chemicals
Agricultural Chemicals
Textile Processing
Emulsion Polymerization
Other Applications
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Anionic Surfactants are Expected to Dominate the Market

Anionic surfactants belong 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 and household cleaning and for pesticide formulations. Of the anionic surfactants, biodegradable linear alkylbenzenesulfonates (LAS) are the most common and can be found in wastewater 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, alkylbenzene sulfonates, and carboxylic acid salts.

Increasing demand for anionic surfactants in cosmetic products, such as skincare and hair care products in personal care applications, owing to their 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.

Surfactants Market, Volume (%), by Type, Global, 2021

Asia-Pacific is Expected 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 soaps, washing powders, and synthetic detergents in China was expected to grow at an annualized 5.0% over the five years through 2021. In 2021, the industry revenue was expected to total USD 54.2 billion. This is excepted to drive the current market during the forecast period.

The output from the Chinese chemical industry is essential in various products, which include soaps, detergents, 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 and 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 soaps 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.

Due to all such factors, the market for surfactants in the region is expected to witness steady growth during the forecast period.

Surfactants Market - Growth Rate by Region, 2022 - 2027

Competitive Landscape

The surfactants market is highly fragmented, with the top five companies accounting for almost 15% of the market. Some of the major players in the market include Nouryon, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Corporation, BASF SE, and Stepan Company, among others.

Major Players

  1. Nouryon

  2. Evonik Industries AG

  3. Kao Corporation

  4. BASF SE

  5. Stepan Company

Surfactants Market Concentration

Recent Developments

  • In January 2022, Evonik started the construction of the world's first industrial-scale production plant for rhamnolipids (biosurfactants ). These biosurfactants are used as active ingredients in shower gels and detergents.
  • In March 2021, BASF SE, Allied Carbon Solutions Co. Ltd, and Holiferm Ltd entered an agreement with each other for the expansion of their positions in the active and bio-based surfactants industry. This expansion shall enable BASF to manufacture and develop the potential for personal care, industrial formulators, and home care products.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Personal Care Industry in Asia-Pacific

      2. 4.1.2 Growth of the Oleochemicals Market Driving the Demand for Bio-based Surfactants

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Increasing Focus on Environmental Regulations

      2. 4.2.2 Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on the Market

      3. 4.2.3 Other Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Price Analysis


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Anionic Surfactants

        1. Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfolane (LAS or LABS)

        2. Alcohol Ethoxy Sulfates (AES)

        3. Alpha Olefin Sulfonates (AOS)

        4. Secondary Alkane Sulfonate (SAS)

        5. Methyl Ester Sulfonates (MES)

        6. Sulfosuccinates

        7. Other Types of Anionic Surfactants

      2. 5.1.2 Cationic Surfactants

        1. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds

        2. Other Types of Cationic Surfactants

      3. 5.1.3 Non-ionic Surfactants

        1. Alcohol Ethoxylates

        2. Ethoxylated Alkyl-phenols

        3. Fatty Acid Esters

        4. Other Non-ionic Surfactants

      4. 5.1.4 Amphoteric Surfactants

      5. 5.1.5 Silicone Surfactants

      6. 5.1.6 Other Types

    2. 5.2 Origin

      1. 5.2.1 Synthetic Surfactants

      2. 5.2.2 Bio-based Surfactants

        1. Chemically Synthesized Bio-based Surfactants

        2. Biosurfactants

    3. 5.3 Application

      1. 5.3.1 Household Soaps and Detergents

      2. 5.3.2 Personal Care

      3. 5.3.3 Lubricants and Fuel Additives

      4. 5.3.4 Industry and Institutional Cleaning

      5. 5.3.5 Food Processing

      6. 5.3.6 Oilfield Chemicals

      7. 5.3.7 Agricultural Chemicals

      8. 5.3.8 Textile Processing

      9. 5.3.9 Emulsion Polymerization

      10. 5.3.10 Other Applications

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.4.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.4.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.4.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis**

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 3M

      2. 6.4.2 Arkema

      3. 6.4.3 Ashland

      4. 6.4.4 BASF SE

      5. 6.4.5 Bayer AG

      6. 6.4.6 Cepsa

      7. 6.4.7 Clariant

      8. 6.4.8 Croda International PLC

      9. 6.4.9 Dow

      10. 6.4.10 Evonik Industries AG

      11. 6.4.11 Galaxy

      12. 6.4.12 Godrej Industries Limited

      13. 6.4.13 Innospec

      14. 6.4.14 Kao Corporation

      15. 6.4.15 KLK Oleo

      16. 6.4.16 Nouryon

      17. 6.4.17 Oxiteno

      18. 6.4.18 P&G Chemicals

      19. 6.4.19 Reliance Industries Ltd

      20. 6.4.20 SANYO CHEMICAL LTD

      21. 6.4.21 Sasol

      22. 6.4.22 Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co. Ltd (China Petrochemical Corporation)

      23. 6.4.23 Solvay

      24. 6.4.24 Stepan Company

      25. 6.4.25 Taiwan NJC Corporation Ltd

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Possible Innovations in the Applications of Specialty Surfactants

    2. 7.2 Expansion of Application Base for Bio-based Surfactants

**Subject to Availability
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Frequently Asked Questions

The Surfactants Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Surfactants Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

The Surfactants Market is valued at 36 Billion USD in 2017.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Nouryon, Evonik Industries AG, Kao Corporation, BASF SE, Stepan Company are the major companies operating in Surfactants Market.

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