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Low Foam Surfactants Market

Global Market Study on Low Foam Surfactants: Rising Demand for Sustainable and Greener Products Giving Impetus to Market Growth

Low Foam Surfactants Market Analysis and Review by Product Types (Non-ionic, Amphoteric, and Cationic)

Market Snapshot

Global consumption of the low foam surfactants market stood at around US$ 19,045.2 Million in 2023 and is stated to increase at a CAGR of 6.3% to reach a valuation of US$ 35,100.0 Million by 2033. East Asia and North America are expected to remain key regions in the business owing to significant presence of the key end use industry in U.S., India, and China.

Low Foam Surfactants Market Value (2022A)

US$ 17,912.5 Million

Low Foam Surfactants Market Estimation (2023E)

US$ 19,045.2 Million

Low Foam Surfactants Market Forecast (2033F)

US$ 35,100.0 Million

Value CAGR (2023 to 2033)


Collective Value Share: Top 3 Countries (2023)


A surfactant is known as a surface active agent, which is a substance that behaves like detergent when added to a liquid, and reduces its surface tension, thereby enhancing its spreading and wetting properties.

Low foaming surfactants are produced by adjusting the alkoxylation process or by managing the alkyl chain of the alcohol. Alkoxylated alcohols are available in different grades and behave as a foundation of low foam non-ionic wetting agents due to their wetting characteristics together with low foam, low dynamic surface tension, and excellent detergency, they are successfully employed in a wide range of applications as they have a low point of freezing and do not behave like a gel when added to water.

The market is dominated by synthetic or chemical surfactants derived from petrochemical or oleo chemical sources. Surfactant manufacturers and governments from different countries are shifting towards renewable and sustainable products due to rising concerns regarding the safety of the environment and human health. These low foam forming surfactants are used in a wide range of applications including coating formulations, personal and home care products, and industrial and architectural paints.

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Consumption Analysis of Low Foam Surfactants from 2018 to 2022 Vs Market Outlook for 2023 to 2033

The market had witnessed about 6.0% year-over-year growth in the past years with a certain dip during the pandemic crisis. Demand for low foam surfactants has been consistently increasing due to the rising demand for detergents, soaps, and sanitizers for maintaining hygiene in hospitals.

Based on current estimations, the market is expected to witness a growth outlook of about 6.3% over the period of 2033 and 2033. The demand for low foam surfactants is rising due to the surge in the manufacturing of bio-based surfactants and their usage in agrochemicals and oil and gas industries.

Significant growth in the end use industries in East Asia region has boosted the market in the past years, current rise in the demand in South Asia Pacific region is driving the market growth. Demand from paper and pulp industry, home care and personal care industry to bolster the demand in the coming years resulting in certain increment in the growth rates over the forecast period.

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How Bio-Based Product demand to boost the Low Foam Surfactants consumption?

Bio based low foam surfactants are usually produced from triglycerides present in vegetable oils or animal fats or synthesized by a chemical or enzymatic method using renewable substrates as raw materials. A number of anionic, cationic, nonionic, and amphoteric products, which are produced by further processing of bio based feedstock to contain functional groups that can provide the surfactant's functional characteristics, are required for the various applications.

The European Commission of Standardization has developed categories for bio-based surfactants, including 50-94% majority bio based, >95% completely bio based, 5-49% minority bio based, and 5% non bio based to examine the sustainability criteria of natural surfactants.

Growing Consumer demand, stricter regulatory requirements, increasing concern for the environment, and acceptable alternatives all contribute to the adoption of bio-based surfactants. Numerous studies conducted by research institutes have shown that natural surfactants are the next generation of industrial surfactants since they are safe for the environment and have minimal toxicity.

In terms of end use applications, matured markets including Europe and North America, are dominating over the market owing to strong end use industry presence including personal care products, industrial and institutional cleaners, home detergents, and cosmetics. They have just begun to be accepted in the recent application fields, including the agricultural and oil and gas sectors. Continuous research and the technological development along with process innovations for natural surfactants are expected to create opportunities for the growth of the market.

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How environmental risks and toxicity of surfactants are restricting the growth of the market?

Analytical procedures, remediation techniques, and the toxicity and hazards of different surfactants and their degradation products in environmental matrices interfere with microbial dynamics and crucial biogeochemical processes, impede plant survival mechanisms and their ecological niche, and slow down organic and systemic human functions.

Surfactants are one of the most difficult developing toxins that wastewater treatment facilities often release into the environment. Some of the surfactants that are available commercially have a significant risk to the environment, and ecosystems. For instance, anionic surfactants, primarily linear alkyl benzene sulfonates (LAS), have effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that include biochemical, pathological, physiological, and other factors. These significant effects eventually restrict market expansion by causing public health and environmental concerns about the high concentration of surfactants.

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Country-wise Analysis

Why Does the U.S. Account for a significant share of the Low Foam Surfactants market?

Demand for low foam surfactants is expected to remain prominent in the U.S. and is expected to hold around 92.5% of the regional market. North America accounts for one-third of the global production of detergents and soaps.

The U.S. soap and detergent industry account for a total annual sales of roughly US$ 25 billion, consisting of about 640 establishments (single and multi-location companies) and matured market with producers including Arkema Group, 3M, Clariant AG, BASF SE, and others.

The structure of the United States surfactant industry is complex and stratified helping the manufacturers and distributors to produce premium quality personal and home care products. The demand for low foam surfactants in the U.S. is expected to increase, owing to the usage of natural and bio-based low foam forming surfactants in agriculture, oil and gas, and textile industries.

What Makes China a Hub for Low Foam Surfactants Demand?

China is expected to dominate in the Asia Pacific as well as the global market for low foam surfactants. In 2022, China accounted for over 44.2% share of the global market. Hygienic consciousness and advancements in liquid soap, the market for soaps, washing powder, and synthetic detergent in China has expanded at an average annual rate of 13.2% during the previous five years.

According to projections, the country would be a lucrative market for many commodities, including polyurethane foams, agrochemicals, and personal care products. The increasing demand for personal care products and loam foam-forming surfactants is expected to create a lucrative opportunity for China during the forecast period.

Category-wise Insights

Which Application of Low Foam Surfactants Generates Most of its Revenue?

On the basis of application, the home and personal care segment accounted for a 20.8% market share in 2022. Low foam surfactants are widely used in household cleaning products such as carpet cleaners, floor cleaners, laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents, and many fabric softeners as well as unaffected by water hardness.

These chemicals are utilized in shampoos, face washes, and skincare creams as they have antibacterial characteristics, foaming and conditioning functionality, moderate detergent activities, and preservation properties in personal care applications. The market for low foam surface active ingredients is anticipated to increase due to the growing market for personal care products throughout the globe.

Technical improvements and product innovations push producers of laundry detergent to now employ rapeseed oil, a non GMO component that has advantages due to its low foaming capabilities. The market is expected to witness the latest developments toward greener and sustainable surfactants. Market players are shifting to the production of low foam surfactants using natural and biodegradable raw materials.

Which Is the Most Preferred Product Type of Low Foam Surfactant?

The preferred product type is non-ionic surfactants. In the global market, the non-ionic type is expected to have a 49.9% value share in 2022.

Non-ionic surfactants are commonly utilized in combination with other surfactants in industrial cleaning applications. The high foam which is produced during the industrial scale cleaning application requires water and electricity, thus increasing the cost and might affect the operation speed, and service life of certain equipment and facilities due to the long soaking time in foam and detergents.

To maintain the balance low foam non-ionic surfactant could be employed in detergent formulations as these surfactants have excellent durability, wettability, lubricity, and dispersancy. The increasing application of non-ionic surfactants for cleaners and detergents is expected to create a demand for low-foam surfactants during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The market is partially consolidated in nature and depends on the availability of chemicals and bio based raw materials including natural oil, ethylene oxide, etc. Manufacturers are focused on developing bio based formulations, and product innovations across the value chain as well as focuses on production capacity expansion for downstream derivatives and low foam forming surfactants.

Key players are strengthening their distribution network all over the globe to increase their sales to challenge China based players who are providing these chemicals at a lower price.

For Instance,

  • In July 2021, Verdant Specialty Solutions acquired Para Flow Energy Solutions and De Forest Enterprises from Chemical Services Group, U.S. Chemicals Company. De Forest is a leading Enterprise in the surfactants industry, including phosphate esters, water-soluble corrosion inhibitors, high and low-foam stable peroxide surfactants, low-foam wetting agents, and alkaline and acid-stable surfactants.
  • In July 2020, Pilot Chemical Company developed the Aspire Surfactant Blends, which is a highly processable and versatile blend of anionic, cationic, and non-ionic surfactants.
  • In December 2021, BASF announced to sell site in Kankakee, Illinois, and the associated businesses of vegetable-oil-based raw material sterols and natural vitamin E, anionic surfactants and esters produced there to an affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners, LLC, a U.S.-based private equity firm.

Low Foam Surfactants Industry Report Scope



Forecast Period

2023 to 2033

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Market Analysis

  • US$ Million for Value
  • Tons for Volume

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia Pacific
  • The Middle East and Africa

Key Countries Covered

  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Gulf co-operation council countries
  • Türkiye
  • South Africa

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Product type
  • Application
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Clariant
  • Croda International plc
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Nufarm
  • Solvay
  • Stepan Company
  • The Dow Chemical Company


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Key Segments Covered in Low Foam Surfactants Market Research

By Product Type:

  • Non-ionic
  • Amphoteric
  • Cationic

By Application:

  • Paper and Pulp
  • Home and Personal Care
  • Agrochemicals
  • Oil field Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Others

By Region:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • South Asia Pacific
  • East Asia
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Clariant
  • Croda International plc
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Huntsman Corporation
  • Nufarm
  • Solvay
  • Stepan Company
  • The Dow Chemical Company

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The global market of low foam surfactants has reported a valuation of US$ 17,912.5 Million in 2022.

The global market has been estimated to reach a valuation of US$ 19,045.2 Million in 2023.

The global market of low foam surfactants is estimated to reach a valuation of US$ 35,100.0 Million by the end of 2033.

The global market has exhibited a value CAGR of 6.0% over the last four years.

The global market is projected a value CAGR of 6.3% from 2023 to 2033.

The Non-ionic segment is estimated to be a key product type, and the segment is estimated to consume about 51.2% of the global market.

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