A highly fragmented global market for sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate, and linear alkylbenzene sulfonate has allowed regional players to obtain a better foothold in it, says Transparency Market Research in a latest analysis. The easy availability of raw materials, a massive scope of applications, and a low financial requirement for industry setup has promoted the entry of many new players into this market. BASF SE led the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market in terms of revenue in 2015, followed by Stepan Company and Akzo Nobel N.V. In the same year, the top six companies held 41.8% of the market’s revenue, the remainder being held by a large number of regional players.
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Rapidly Growing Use in Personal Care Products Boosts Demand for SLS, SLES, and LAS
The largest application segments in the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market have been textile and leather, personal care, detergents and cleaners, and oilfield chemicals. Of these, the current major area of focus lies in the personal care products segment, as SLES and SLS are being widely used in cleaning products, lotions, and creams. Both chemicals provide the abilities of suspending oil, cleaning wet surfaces, and provide a better grade of skin care with few or no instances of toxicity cases.
“The panel of experts at the Cosmetic Ingredient Review had concluded SLES and SLS to be safe for use in personal care products, including cosmetics, as long as they are used in a calculated amount. At the same time, major research and development efforts are being undertaken to remove the minor toxic effects of SLES and SLS completely,” said a TMR analyst. “These facts, coupled with the rapidly increasing demand for personal care and cosmetic products, will be the major propellants for the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market in the near future.”
Detergent Demand Increases, Further Driving SLS, SLES, and LAS Consumption
Another major driver pointed out by the TMR analysts is the rapidly growing demand for household detergents. A large variety of detergents and cleaners are commercially available today, ranging from carpet cleaners and toilet cleaners to laundry detergents. This increased scope of use has ascribed a large consumer base across the world. This growth in consumer base applies especially to the emerging economies of the world, where improving income and disposable income rates are allowing individuals to purchase a better range and quality of cleaning products.
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Similar to personal care products, the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market receives a major thrust from the high detergent consumption rate, as manufacturers are increasingly preferring LAS over other surfactants. The reason for this higher preference is the fact that LAS can be utilized in both acidic and alkaline detergents of both liquid and powdered forms. Additionally, LAS is relatively cheaper than other conventional surfactants.
All these factors are the major ones responsible for propelling the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market at a CAGR of 4.2% within a forecast period from 2016 to 2024 in terms of volume. It stood at around 4,656 kilo tons in 2015 and is expected to reach 6,742.5 kilo tons by the end of 2024. Regionally speaking, all major locations of the market are expected to show a high rate of growth in the various segments. Asia Pacific held the highest share of volume in the global SLS, SLES, and LAS market for 2015 and is expected to do the same at the end of 2024.