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Specialty Surfactant Market Research Report Information By Type (anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants, non-ionic surfactants, amphoteric surfactants and others), By Application (wetting agents, emulsifiers, dispersants, foaming agents, stabilizers, and others), By End-User Industry (personal care, food and beverage, oil and gas, agriculture, paints and coatings, and others), and By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, And Rest Of The World) โ€“Market Forecast Till 2032


ID: MRFR/CnM/5265-HCR | 140 Pages | Author: Priya Nagrale| July 2024

Global Specialty Surfactant Market Overview


Specialty Surfactant Market Size was valued at USD 33.91 Billion in 2023. The specialty surfactan industry is projected to grow from USD 35.70 Billion in 2024 to USD 51.2520 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.62% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). The market for specialty surfactants is significantly driven by the rise in demand for environmentally friendly products. Growth in end-use sectors, including personal care, home care, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, paints & coatings, and industrial, is another significant market driver opening up lucrative prospects for producers in the specialty surfactants market.


Specialty Surfactant Market Overview


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Specialty Surfactant Market Trends




  • Growing demand for bio-based surfactants is driving the market growth




The functionality of bio-based surfactants, produced by microorganisms, is superior to that of chemically produced substances. These surfactants are viewed as environmentally beneficial raw materials due to their high level of protection and biodegradability. As consumers become more aware of the usage of sustainable and natural components in the products they use every day, there is an increased demand for bio-based surfactants and the development of greener solutions for a variety of applications, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial cleaning, and biochemicals. Governments and surfactant producers, however, are focusing more on switching to green and sustainable products in practically every application as concerns about the environment and human health become more pressing. The market CAGR for specialty surfactants is thus expected to increase throughout the projected period as a result of the growing need for bio-based surfactants.


Furthermore, in the agricultural sector, specialty surfactants are also widely employed. Applications include various additives, primarily pesticides such as fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. Additionally, surface-active substances like "glycine technical grade" are being employed more frequently in agricultural practices. The greatest option for farmers and the industrial sector is "glycine technical grade," which facilitates chemical synthesis and provides mineral complexing sites for maximum absorption in agricultural applications.


Additionally, the market is expanding due to the rising use of specialty surfactants to enhance the performance of agrochemicals such as insecticides and herbicides. Specialty surfactants promote the foliar uptake of herbicides, growth regulators, and defoliants, among other pesticides, and do so through a number of different methods. Additionally, specialty surfactants are being employed more frequently in the agrochemicals business to break the surface tension of spray droplets and enhance the application performance of agrochemicals. Currently, it is predicted that the market will develop faster than the agrochemical industry due to its rising expansion. The India Brand Equity Foundation predicts that the market for agrochemicals will increase by 8% annually between FY22 and FY25, reaching US$ 3.7 billion in FY22 and US$ 4.7 billion in FY25. The demand for specialty surfactants is expected to increase in the coming years as the agrochemical industry grows. Thus, driving the specialty surfactant market revenue.


Specialty Surfactant Market Segment Insights:


Specialty Surfactant Type Insights


The specialty surfactant market segmentation, based on type, includes anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants, non-ionic surfactants, amphoteric surfactants and others. The anionic surfactants segment dominated the market. Due to their affordability and accessibility, anionic surfactants are used more frequently in electronic dishwashing and laundry detergents. Anionic surfactants are ideal for some carpet applications due to additional benefits. They produce a lot of foam when agitated. Instead of being sticky like other surfactants, they are frequently flaky or powdery when dried. The most common type of surfactant used in low-moisture carpet cleaners is anionic, which includes traditional shampoos and encapsulation treatments.


Figure 1:  Specialty Surfactant Market, by Type, 2022 & 2032 (USD Billion)


Specialty Surfactant Market, by Type, 2022 & 2032


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Specialty Surfactant Application Insights


The specialty surfactant market segmentation, based on application, includes wetting agents, emulsifiers, dispersants, foaming agents, stabilizers, and others. The emulsifiers category generated the most income. Emulsifiers are widely employed in many sectors, including the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries. Increased consumer awareness, expanding industrial applications, and technological breakthroughs have all contributed to the market for specialty surfactants, particularly emulsifiers. It is plausible that the emulsifier category has grown within the specialty surfactant industry, given the growing use of emulsifiers in sectors including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food processing.


Specialty Surfactant End-User Industry Insights


The specialty surfactant market segmentation, based on end-user industry, includes personal care, food and beverage, oil and gas, agriculture, paints and coatings, and others. The personal care category generated the most income. Consumer demand for specialty surfactants in personal care products would rise, even though low-cost commodity goods will still make up the majority of demand in volume. Over the projected period, manufacturers' initiatives to adopt more multifunctional, environmentally friendly solutions will drive demand for specialty surfactants. The market for specialty surfactants is projected to develop in recent years due to the personal care industry's rising growth.


Specialty Surfactant Regional Insights


By region, the study provides the market insights into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. The North American specialty surfactant market will dominate due to the expansion of the cosmetics business in this area and the growing use of the product in soaps and detergents, personal care, and the food processing industry. Furthermore, the growth is linked to rising demand for green and bio-based products as well as rising environmental safety concerns in this region.


Further, the major countries studied in the market report are The US, Canada, German, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil.


Figure 2:  SPECIALTY SURFACTANT MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2022 (USD Billion)


SPECIALTY SURFACTANT MARKET SHARE BY REGION


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Europe specialty surfactant market accounts for the second-largest market share due to the huge food and beverage industries, high demand for cosmetics and personal care goods, and sophisticated economies in the region. Further, the German specialty surfactant market held the largest market share, and the UK specialty surfactant market was the fastest growing market in the European region


The Asia-Pacific Specialty surfactant Market is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR from 2023 to 2032. The market for specialty surfactants is increasing due to the growing consumption and demand of cleaning detergents and personal care products in the Asia-Pacific region. Most of the demand for specialty surfactant products comes from these end use sectors. Moreover, China’s specialty surfactant market held the largest market share, and the Indian specialty surfactant market was the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific region.


Specialty Surfactant Key Market Players & Competitive Insights


Leading market players are investing heavily in research and development in order to expand their product lines, which will help the specialty surfactant market, grow even more. Market participants are also undertaking a variety of strategic activities to expand their footprint, with important market developments including new product launches, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, higher investments, and collaboration with other organizations. To expand and survive in a more competitive and rising market climate, specialty surfactant industry must offer cost-effective items.


Manufacturing locally to minimize operational costs is one of the key business tactics used by manufacturers in the specialty surfactant industry to benefit clients and increase the market sector. In recent years, the specialty surfactant industry has offered some of the most significant advantages to market. Major players in the specialty surfactant market attempting to increase market demand by investing in research and development operations include Akzo Nobel N.V. (Netherlands), Arkema (France), Ashland (US), BASF SE (Germany), Clariant (Switzerland), DowDuPont (US), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), GEO (US), Huntsman International LLC (US), Innospec (US), Libra Speciality Chemicals Limited (UK), Procter & Gamble (US), Pilot Chemical Corp. (US), and Stepan Company (US).


Fast-moving consumer items are manufactured and marketed by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). Conditioners, shampoo, razors for men and women, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dishwashing liquids, detergents, surface cleaners, and air fresheners are among the company's offerings. Additionally, it sells toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, diapers, and pants. Head & Shoulders, Olay, Pantene, Pampers, Gillette, Braun, Tide, Ariel, and Fusion are just a few of P&G's well-known brand names. The business sells its goods through a variety of outlets, including pharmacies, drugstores, department shops, high-frequency retailers, membership clubs, specialty beauty retailers, and grocery stores.


Specialty chemicals and cutting-edge materials are the focus of Arkema SA. The business provides solutions for adhesives, biobased materials, coatings, composites, health care, and sporting goods. Technical polymers, hydrogen peroxide, organic peroxides, thiochemicals, fluorogases, acrylics, photocure resins, filtration and adsorption, rheology additives, coating resins, and other products are among the company's offerings. In May 2019, Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm, sold ArrMaz, a Florida-based specialty surfactant company, to Arkema Company for $570 million. The acquisition, according to Arkema, will enable it to meet its goal of generating 80% of its income from specialty chemicals by 2023.


Key Companies in the specialty surfactant market include



  • Akzo Nobel N.V. (Netherlands)

  • Arkema (France)

  • Ashland (US)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Clariant (Switzerland)

  • DowDuPont (US)

  • Evonik Industries AG (Germany)

  • GEO (US)

  • Huntsman International LLC (US)

  • Innospec (US)

  • Libra Speciality Chemicals Limited (UK)

  • Procter & Gamble (US)

  • Pilot Chemical Corp. (US)

  • Stepan Company (US)


Specialty Surfactant Industry Developments


December 2022: Through the acquisition of a property on Jurong Island in Singapore, Nouryon increased the scope of their specialty surfactant alkoxylation business in Southeast Asia. The bought factory will assist Nouryon in meeting rising regional customer demand in significant end sectors like home and personal care, natural resources, paints and coatings, agriculture and food, and home and personal care.


October 2022: The establishment of a production joint venture for the commercial manufacturing of non-ionic specialty surfactants in the Asia-Pacific area was announced by BASF and Hannong Chemicals.


Specialty Surfactant Market Segmentation


Specialty Surfactant Type Outlook (USD Billion, 2018-2032)



Specialty Surfactant Application Outlook (USD Billion, 2018-2032)



  • Wetting Agents

  • Emulsifiers

  • Dispersants

  • Foaming Agents

  • Stabilizers

  • Others


Specialty Surfactant End-User Industry Outlook (USD Billion, 2018-2032)



  • Personal Care

  • Food and Beverage

  • Oil and Gas

  • Agriculture

  • Paints and Coatings

  • Others


Specialty Surfactant Regional Outlook (USD Billion, 2018-2032)



  • North America

    • US

    • Canada



  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe



  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • Australia

    • South Korea

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific



  • Rest of the World

    • Middle East

    • Africa

    • Latin America



Report Attribute/Metric Details
Market Size 2023 USD 33.91 Billion
Market Size 2023 USD 35.70 Billion
Market Size 2032 USD 51.2520 Billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 4.62% (2024-2032)
Base Year 2023
Market Forecast Period 2024-2032
Historical Data 2018- 2022
Market Forecast Units Value (USD Billion)
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Market Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Segments Covered Type, Application, End-Use Industry and Region
Geographies Covered North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World
Countries Covered The US, Canada, German, France, UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil
Key Companies Profiled Akzo Nobel N.V. (Netherlands), Arkema (France), Ashland (US), BASF SE (Germany), Clariant (Switzerland), DowDuPont (US), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), GEO (US), Huntsman International LLC (US), Innospec (US), Libra Speciality Chemicals Limited (UK), Procter & Gamble (US), Pilot Chemical Corp. (US), and Stepan Company (US)
Key Market Opportunities Development of bio-based surfactants
Key Market Dynamics Growing personal care industry in emerging economies


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The specialty surfactant market size was valued at USD 33.91 Billion in 2023.

The specialty surfactant market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.62% during the forecast period, 2024-2032.

North America had the largest share in the specialty surfactant market

The key players in the specialty surfactant market are Akzo Nobel N.V. (Netherlands), Arkema (France), Ashland (US), BASF SE (Germany), Clariant (Switzerland), DowDuPont (US), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), GEO (US), Huntsman International LLC (US), Innospec (US), Libra Speciality Chemicals Limited (UK), Procter & Gamble (US), Pilot Chemical Corp. (US), and Stepan Company (US).

The anionic surfactants category dominated the specialty surfactant market in 2023.

The personal care category had the largest share in the specialty surfactant market.

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