Surfactants, short for “surface acting agents”, are compounds that reduce the interfacial tension (surface tension) between two liquids or between a solid and a liquid. These “surface acting agents “have ‘wetting’ properties, and when added to a liquid, they can alter its ‘spreading’ or ‘wetting’ characteristics by lowering its surface tension.In agriculture, surfactants are added to herbicides (i.e. weed killers) to improve their performance. Surfactants reduce the surface tension of water, and keep the herbicide sprays adhered to the targeted weed rather than getting absorbed by the soil. Estimates show that there is a 30 to 50 percent reduction in pest control if herbicides are used without surfactants.
Ideally, a surfactant’s solubility should complement the solubility characteristics of the herbicide it is added to. Hence, a surfactant-herbicide combinationshould be either oil-soluble (Lipophilic) or water-soluble (Hydrophilic). Herbicides in the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) range of 1 to 10 are more soluble in oil than water. Those in the HLB range of 10 to 20 are more soluble in water than oil. Likewise, surfactants in the HLB range of 1 to 10 generally work best with an oil-soluble herbicide, and those in the HLB range of 10 to 20 work best with a water-soluble one. These HLB scores help determine the optimal combination of a surfactant and herbicide, and deduce the most effective solution for crop protection.
The end-users of agricultural surfactants are farmers, growers and land managers. Surfactants help these users manage weeds chemically, and improve the crops’ performance.
The rise in demand for food due to a rise in the worldwide population has resulted in an increase in demand for crop protection chemicals. The global food production would continue increasing in the coming century, and this is expected to drive the demand for agricultural surfactants. Development of farming techniques such as precision farming, an increase in commercial agriculture, and a surge in the demand for bio surfactants is expected to propel further growth in the agrochemical industry.
Use of Genetically Modified (GM) seeds by farmers to increase their yield, an accentuated sustainable farming, anda sink in the use of agrochemicals and pesticides could control the growth in the surfactant market. Since the market is drifting away from synthetic surfactants due to firm regulations, bio-based surfactants are expected to witness immense growth in the global surfactants market.
The market is segmented in terms of:
Surfactant Type: Anionic, Nonionic, Cationic, and Amphoteric;
Substrate Type: Synthetic and Bio-based;
Application: Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides, and Others;
Geographically, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region has dominated the surfactant market, owing to its economic growth and a fast growing population. China and Brazil comprised of the largest country markets in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions in 2014. North America dominated the market and accounted for the largest market share globally in 2014, owing to high rate of adoption of new technologies to increase the farm operations’ efficiency and to minimize the cost of operations.
Herbicides continue to be the most sold generic product in the global agrochemical pesticide market. Despite people’s negative perception about them, herbicides are going to be used for many decades to come, to ensure a safe food supply to the ever-growing population. As a result, surfactants would continue to being used to increase the penetration of herbicides onto the target plants.
Some of the major players in the market include BASF SE (Germany), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Akzonobel N.V (The Netherlands), Evonik Industries (Germany), and Solvay S.A (Belgium).
- Market segments
- Market Drivers, Restraints and Opportunities
- Market Size & Forecast 2016 to 2022
- Supply & Demand Value Chain
- Market – Current Trends
- Competition & Major Companies
- Technology and R&D Status
- Porters Five Force Analysis
- Strategic and Critical Success Factor Analysis of Key Players
- North America
- US and Canada
- Latin America
- Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Rest of Latin America
- Western Europe
- EU5 (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, U.K.)
- Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden)
- Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg)
- Rest of Western Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Rest of Eastern Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Australia and New Zealand
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East and Africa
- GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Kuwait)
- South Africa
- North Africa
- Rest of Middle East and Africa
This report is an elaborate aggregation of primary inputs from industry experts and participants across the supply chain. It provides details on market segmentation which is derived from several product mapping exercises, macroeconomic parameters and other qualitative and quantitative insights. The impact of all such factors is delivered across multiple market segments and geographies.
- Detailed Historical Overview (Market Origins, Product Launch Timeline, etc.)
- Consumer and Pricing Analysis
- Market dynamics of the industry
- Market Segmentation
- Estimated Market Sizing in terms of volume and value
- Recent trends in Market and impact
- Research Status and Technology Overview
- Extensive Industry Structure Coverage