Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) are a group of popular non-ionic surfactants known for their effectiveness, ease of handling & formulating and economic feasibility. Alkylphenol ethoxylates are widely used as surfactants in detergents and cleaning products for industrial and institutional applications. Alkylphenol ethoxylates are produced by reaction of an alkylphenol and with ethylene oxide (EO). Two commercially viable types of alkylphenol ethoxylates are nonphenol ethoxylates (NPE) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OPE). Alkylphenol ethoxylates are produced in excess in of a million tons and thus classified as high production volume (HPV) chemicals. Alkylphenol ethoxylates are harmful due to the slow degradation in the environment. Nearly 85% of alkylphenol ethoxylates are represented by nonphenol ethoxylates.
Alkylphenol ethoxylates are almost phased-out and banned in most European countries however, their use has increased in the U.S. owing to growing applications in pulp and paper, textile and plastic industry. Alkylphenol ethoxylates are primarily used as surfactants, detergent and emulsifiers in wide range of industrial and commercial products in multiple end use sectors. Alkylphenol ethoxylates possess multiple application such as, it is used as an emulsifying and wetting agent in detergents and paints & coating industry. Other such applications of alkylphenol ethoxylates are:
- Surfactant for textile processing
- Pitch control in paper pulp manufacture
- Textile detergent
- Surfactant for cleaning paper-machine felts
- Rewetting agent for paper towels
Alkylphenol ethoxylates are harmful to animals and humans and are highly toxic in nature due to which the usage of APEs are limited to only primarily institution applications which does not involve human presence.
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Alkylphenol ethoxylates are extensively used as industrial surfactants. Growth in various end use industry such as textile, soaps & detergents, pulp & paper is a major driving factor in the alkylphenol ethoxylates market in the coming years. Over the recent years it is observed that developing nations are amongst the high consuming countries in the industrial surfactant market across the globe. Major manufacturers have stepped up in the surfactant market through accelerating pace of acquisitions, mergers and cooperative agreements. Such steps are another key factor affecting the market for industrial surfactant which in turn is a major driving force for the alkylphenol ethoxylates market.
Rising construction expenditure and oil & gas production is expected to drive the sales of industrial surfactants such as alkylphenol ethoxylates. Rebounds in consumer spending on personal care product and FMCG products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners likely to propel the alkylphenol ethoxylate market.
Paints and coating industry have witnessed an immense growth in demand over the recent years owing to increase in construction activities globally. Alkylphenol ethoxylates are used in end use industry such as agriculture, pulp & paper and textile as well, growth in such industries is expected to propagate demand in the alkylphenol ethoxylates market.
The multi-application and usage of alkylphenol ethoxylates are overshadowed by its toxic nature. Alkylphenol ethoxylates degrade into alkylphenols, alkylphenols are highly toxic to organisms, and they are extremely harmful to aquatic life with effects which are long lasting. Such factors affect the growth of the alkylphenol ethoxylates market. Europe has replaced type of alkylphenol ethoxylates with suitable alternatives because of the restricted use in the non-industrial applications. Many government are to be expected to follow suit of decreasing the usage of APEs owing to its adverse environment effects. Use of alkylphenol ethoxylates is likely to get impacted in coming years in the North America market as the manufacturers are feeling the pressure from the U.S. government in decreasing the usage of APEs for household applications.
The Global Market of Alkylphenol Ethoxylates can be segmented by: Type
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylates
- Octylphenol Ethoxylates
- Dodecylphenol Ethoxylate
The Global Market of Alkylphenol Ethoxylates can be segmented by: Application
- Agricultural Chemicals
- Emulsion Polymerization
- Pulp & Paper
- Paints & Coatings
- Metal Processing
- Industrial & Institutional Cleaners
- Fragrance Emulsification
Market: Regional Outlook
North America are expected to be holding a primary share in the alkylphenol ethoxylate market owing to concertation of key manufacturers as well as Tier II players in the region. However, countries from Europe such as Netherlands have principally replaced alkylphenol ethoxylates with the suitable alternates available in the market for household applications. Nevertheless Asia Pacific region is expected to remain a prominent region for the consumption as well as production of alkylphenol ethoxylates owing to the outsized number of tier II and tier III players in the region along with the growing industrial and construction activities in the region. Emerging countries such as India, Indonesia, and Vietnam are also prominent consumers in the market. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are anticipated to project a steady growth rate in the coming years.
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Market: Key participants
Some Key Market Players are:
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Huntsman Corporation
- Solvay SA
- Shree Vallabh Chemicals
- Saibaba Surfactants
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