Alcohol sulfates are negatively charged ions or anions. Being unstable in nature they react with cations to form stable compounds. However, this property makes alcohol sulfates highly suitable in various applications largely as surfactants. As surfactants, these may act as detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers, wetting agents and dispersants. When alcohol sulfates react with sodium they form sodium lauryl sulphates and other compounds, making them suitable in industrial applications such as floor cleaners, car wash soaps and engine degreasers. Alcohol sulfates also find use in a wide range of personal care products such as soaps, shampoos and toothpastes.
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With the wide range of industrial applications, the market for alcohol sulfates is expected to have a positive trend in the future. The rise in demand from personal care segment across Europe and other Asia Pacific countries is expected to boost the market for alcohol sulfates in the next few years. Also the application as surfactant will further propel the demand for alcohol sulfates in the future. The current market for surfactants is largely dominated by Europe and the U.S. However the surge in demand from China and Africa will act as a catalyst for alcohol sulfates market in the near future.
The commercial usage of alcohol sulfates began in 1940’s when they started replacing the ordinary soap primarily for washing machine applications. The negative electrical charge of alcohol sulfates’ ionic nature makes them bind to dissolved minerals in hard water. The lauryl group provides the highest foam, making it ideal for cleansing applications. Also the alcohol sulfates can be readily thickened when combined with alkanolamides and amine oxides which can be used largely in laundry application. The personal care products and other hygiene related applications are expected to be the major drivers for alcohol sulfates in the next few years. The other applications of alcohol sulfates include shampoos, body wash, liquid hand soap, bath products, and facial cleansers.
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The developing nations across Asia Pacific are anticipated to be the fastest growing markets for alcohol sulfates in the next six years. The middle class population in these countries is growing at a stupendous rate which is eventually resulting in an increase in the overall customer base. Moreover, due to the rapid economic development of these countries and increased disposable income of the citizens of these countries has led to further magnification of the total customer base in these countries for applications in detergents and soaps. Moreover, the countries in the regions such as Africa, South America and the Middle East are showing swift economic growth since the last few years. In addition to this, the developed regions across the U.S. and European countries are progressively recovering from the sluggish economic conditions. Considering this outlook, the industrial applications such as floor cleaners, car wash soaps, and engine degreasers are expected to record a magnificent growth in the next few years. Additionally, there is an incredible market potential for the surfactants and allied industries in the developing countries such as China, India and Brazil. The major players operating in the alcohol sulfates market are primarily focusing on the emergent countries for tapping their immense market potential. The key companies operating in the alcohol sulfates market are installing gigantic production facilities in these developing countries to fulfill the swiftly rising local demand for alcohol sulfates.
Some of the key players operating in the alcohol sulfates market are Zhejiang Zanyu Technology Co., Ltd., Kao Corporation, Oxiteno, Unger Surfactants, Godrej Industries Ltd, Wings Corporation, Miwon Commercial Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Xingyi Chemical Trading Co., Ltd, Croda International, Clariant Corporation, Huntsman Corporation, Rhodia SA, Stepan Company, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Galaxy Surfactants Ltd., BASF SE, DuPont, Evonik Industries AG, The Dow Chemical Company, Ho Tung Chemical Corp. and Taiwan NJC Corporation.