Surfactant or surface-active agent is a compound used for reducing the surface tension of one or more components. Surfactants are made from natural or synthetic substances, which act as wetting agents to disperse or suspend greasy soils in a solution. Surfactants weaken the surface tension force of solvents or interfacial tension between two non-miscible liquids. Fluorosurfactants, also known as fluorinated surfactants or per fluorinated alkylated substances, belong to the organ fluorine chemical group. They offer more effective chemical properties vis-à-vis hydrocarbon based surfactants. Fluorosurfactants are fluorocarbon based compounds that are synthetic. They consist of multiple fluorine atoms with a hydrophilic head and fluorinated tail in a chain. They function by breaking down the interface between water and oils or water and dirt through suspension of soiled particles. They possess a strong carbon–fluorine bond that makes them more stable and appropriate for harsh conditions than hydrocarbon surfactants.
The global fluorosurfactants market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for short chain surfactants in various end-use industries such as building & construction and oil & gas. Fluorosurfactants possess enhanced characteristics of wettability, particle dispersion, permeability, and better levelling techniques. These superior properties are anticipated to boost the global fluorosurfactants market. Rise in demand for fluorosurfactants in enhanced oil recovery activities for foam generation, particle dispersion, and emulsion stabilization purposes is expected to propel the fluorosurfactants market. The market is estimated to be driven by the increase in demand for fluorosurfactants in the marine industry owing to the anti-corrosive properties applicable to protection of marine ships and vessels. Rise in awareness about hygiene and sanitation among consumers is also projected to augment the demand for laundry products and detergents, thereby fueling the fluorosurfactants market. However, toxicity of fluorosurfactants and implementation of stringent environmental regulations against emission of volatile organic compounds are likely to hamper the fluorosurfactants market. Furthermore, manufacturers of fluorosurfactants are compelled to replace the manufacturing of long chain fluorosurfactants with eco-friendly substitutes, i.e. short chain fluorosurfactants. This is projected to offer lucrative opportunities to the fluorosurfactants market.
In terms of type, the fluorosurfactants market can be segmented into anionic fluorosurfactants, nonionic fluorosurfactants, amphoteric fluorosurfactants, and cationic fluorosurfactants. Anionic fluorosurfactants hold key share of the global fluorosurfactants market. . Anionic fluorosurfactants are widely used for laundering, dishwashing liquids, and shampoos owing to their characteristics of wettability and permeability.
Based on end-use industry, the fluorosurfactants market can be divided into oil & gas, paints & coatings, healthcare & hygiene, firefighting, and others. The paints & coatings segment is estimated to account for significant share of the global fluorosurfactants market in the near future. Fluorosurfactants exhibit excellent surface contamination, anti-blocking, low foaming, and emulsifying properties. Thus, they can be used in the paints & coatings industry. Fluorosurfactants are also employed in specialty detergents for industrial and household purposes. Fluorosurfactants are used extensively in hair conditioners and fabric softeners, shampoos and shower gels, machine dishwashing powders & tablets, and laundry detergents in healthcare and hygiene industries.
In terms of geography, the fluorosurfactants market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace due to the easy availability of raw materials in countries such as China and India. North America and Europe also constitute significant share of the market owing to the increase in demand for fluorosurfactants in the building & construction industry.
Key players operating in the global fluorosurfactants market include Asahi Glass Co. Ltd., DIC Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Merck KGaA, The 3M Company, The Chemours Company, and Advanced Polymer, Inc.
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