Detergent is a mixture of surfactants which has cleaning properties in adulterate solutions. Families of compounds such as alkylbenzenesulfonates are more soluble in hard water but have properties similar to that of soap. These compounds are readily soluble in hard water as the polar sulfates are less alike than the polar carboxyls that bind with calcium and other ions present in water. In household perspective, detergent itself describes especially to dish detergent or laundry detergent except hand soaps or other various cleaning substances or agents. Soaps work as detergents as they have partly hydrophobic and partly hydrophilic properties. This property of detergents leads to the mixture of hydrophobic compounds such as grease and oil along with water. Owing to non-hydrophilic nature of air, detergents, at varying degrees are foaming agents. Chemically, detergents are classified into three broad groups based on the electrical charge of the surfactants. These include cationic detergents, anionic detergents, zwitterionic detergents and non-ionic detergents. The major raw materials used in the manufacture of detergents include sodium silicate, palm stearin, sodium sulphate, Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonic Acid (LABSA) and Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) among others. Detergents are manufactured using three process namely, the blender process, agglomeration process and slurry method.
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Detergents have a wide variety of applications as laundry detergents, biological reagent, Fuel additives and soapless soap among others. Largest applications of detergents are for washing clothes and hence, laundry detergents are used on a large scale. Fuel injector and carburetor component of Otto engines are benefited by detergents, which prevent fouling in fuels. Isolation and purification of integral membrane proteins found in biological cells is done with the help of reagent grade detergents. Soapless soap is a liquid cleanser which is soapfree with a little acidic pH. The end-use applications for detergents chemicals include industrial and institutional cleaners, household detergents, metalworking fluids, personal care products among others.
Some of the major drivers of the detergent chemical industry include increasing demand for industrial detergents due to growing industrialization. In addition, technological advancements and growing demands of customer due to hygiene practices are also anticipated to boost demand for detergents in the market. However, the volatile prices of raw material due to rise in the oil and natural gas prices are expected to hamper the market growth in coming years. Price is the major factor for demand and growth of detergent chemicals in the market. Green cleaning uses products and methods that have environment friendly ingredients intended to protect environment and human health. This technology uses products that are free from volatile organic compounds leading to dermatological and respiratory disorders and do not contain toxic chemicals.
China and India is expected to be the largest consumer of detergent chemicals followed by Middle East and Africa. The U.S. is expected to lose market share owing to the buying behavior of customers in U.S., whereas Europe is anticipated to gain market share. Brazil and Russia are expected to show sluggish growth as that of U.S. Growth opportunities remains high for suppliers that provide differentiated value, which allows them to sustain competitive pricing.
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Some of the major companies profiled include: Huntsman Corporation, BASF SE, Dow Chemicals, Tata Chemicals, Solvay, Procter & Gamble, AkzoNobel, Dial Corp, Clariant AG, Church & Dwight, Henkel, Unilever, Shell Chemicals, Sasol, Airedale Chemicals, Colgate, International Detergent Chemicals Ltd., Condea and Petresa among others.
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