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Emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region represent high-potential markets for personal care products and cosmetics. As beauty and personal care products are among the biggest applications of alpha olefin sulfonates, the burgeoning growth of the personal care industry in the region is likely to create significant sales opportunities for alpha olefin sulfonates market players.
Additionally, increasing economic growth of the developing Asian countries, such as China and India, is generating high demand for industrial surfactants such as alpha olefin sulfonates. To capitalize on the ever-growing consumption of alpha olefin sulfonates as a surfactant in wide-ranging industrial applications, leading alpha olefin sulfonates market players are investing heavily in local markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Some of the examples include:
- Clariant, a Swiss player in alpha olefin sulfonates market, has adopted a strategic framework to invest heavily in China in order to capitalize on a significant rise in local demand for surfactants, such as alpha olefin sulfonates. Along with its plans to set an integrated capacity and regional innovation center in Shanghai by 2020, the company has already opened its first online flagship store, to cater to the local demands, on 1688.com (Alibaba)
- Another player in the alpha olefin sulfonates market, Huntsman Corporation recently declared that the Asia-Pacific region accounted for over one-fourth of the company’s $8 billion in revenues in 2017. The company is further investing in the region to expand its manufacturing facilities, as it recently opened a multi-purpose facility in Vietnam, right after the groundbreaking of its new production facility in China.
- AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, a Dutch multinational company which was recently launched as Nouryon, announced that it has made a strategic investment of over €4.8 million to expand its Surface Chemistry facility in Boxing, China to improve operational excellence and establish a stronger position in the fabric softeners market and alpha olefin sulfonates market in the country.
Stringent Safety Regulations Create Challenges for Alpha Olefin Sulfonates Market Players
While manufacturers in the alpha olefin sulfonates market are concentrating their efforts on minimizing the cost of production, stringent standards and environmental regulations imposed are influencing competitive pricing.
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The European Union has adopted REACH regulations, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, to mitigate negative impacts of chemical products on the human health and the environment. All the chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, downstream users, as well as alpha olefin sulfonates market players have to comply with REACH regulations to carry out operations in the European Economic Area (EEA). In addition, the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed labeling regulations for chemical products manufactured or marketed in the U.S., under its Safer Choice Program. Though participating in this program is not mandatory for alpha olefin sulfonates manufacturers, consumers in the U.S. prefer to purchase products that meet these standards.
Although adherence to these regulations is beneficial considering the long-term impact of chemicals on the environment, a cost escalation is the bitter medicine in the short run.
Biodegradability of Alpha Olefin Sulfonates: Key to Future Adoption
A majority of personal care product manufacturing companies are aiming to mitigate the environmental impacts of their manufacturing processes as consumers are becoming highly conscious about the carbon footprint of the products they use. While alpha olefin sulfonates exhibit a combination of good emulsification properties and foaming properties, these are also readily biodegradable, which boosts their applications in manufacturing eco-friendly surfactants, thereby, complementing growth of the alpha olefin sulfonates market.
Consumers are becoming conscious about ingredients in personal care products by the virtue of rising awareness about the negative effects of chemicals on the skin. A majority of government organizations, including the Government of Canada, have declared that alpha olefin sulfonates are free from carcinogens, which further provides a fillip to the alpha olefin sulfonates market growth.
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