The rising awareness about the hazards of petroleum-based surfactants has been a major driving force for biosurfactants market growth in recent times. Ideally, surfactants manufactured from non-renewable petroleum sources have invaded and occupied the market space since the last many decades. However, most of these chemically derived surfactants, when disposed, take 70 to 100 years to break down, thus raising concerns about long term toxicity. Amidst this scenario, a number of natural ingredients have been used to produce surfactants that are as effective as their chemical counterparts and a lot less harmful, thus laying down the ground for biosurfactants industry growth.
Germany Biosurfactants Market Size, By Applications, 2016 & 2024, (USD Million)
Most of these surfactants are obtained from renewable substrates and their physical and chemical properties can be modified using biochemical and genetic manipulation, making them more capable for specific requirements. Empowered with bio-based origins that give biosurfactants the status of green additives, these products have come to be immensely preferred by the personal care, food processing and agricultural industries.
With the robust growth of the food industry, food additives have come to occupy an important position for the processing, production, treatment, packaging, storage and transportation of food. The use of safe ingredients and procedures have therefore come to the forefront, increasing the demand for using more natural ingredients in food processing, thereby stimulating biosurfactants industry. Surfactants have been used in the food sector for decades as they act as excellent thickening, stabilizing and emulsifying agents. The demand for using more naturally sourced ingredients as food additives and the desire to reduce the dependency on genetically modified crops have worked in the favor of using biosurfactants that offer a number of antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-adhesive properties.
The personal care industry is another end-use domain that has witnessed a cumulative demand for natural ingredients in personal care products including skin care, soaps, shampoos, make-up, deodorants, etc. The adverse effects of artificial chemicals on personal hygiene and the social, environmental and economic ramifications of introducing more chemicals in cosmetics has encouraged consumers to prefer naturally sourced ingredients. This current trend among consumers has shifted the focus of manufacturers to bio-based cosmetic products that exhibit better properties as compared to chemical-based products. This has substantially influenced biosurfactants market trends as biocosmetics exhibit prebiotic characteristics and are highly biodegradable.
Another field that has enhanced the potential commercial application of biosurfactants in the past decade is medicine. The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of biosurfactants makes them apt to be used across the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, as they display excellent anti-adhesive properties against several pathogens, various medical insertional materials utilize their capability as suitable anti-adhesive coating agents, leading to controlling the spread of hospital infections without the use of synthetic drugs and chemicals.
Currently, petroleum sourced surfactants are being sidelined because of their negative environmental impact. However, petroleum still remains one of the most important energy sources and a major raw material for the chemical industry. Unfortunately, petrochemical plants and oil refineries can produce a large amount of hazardous waste. Additionally, oil spills during explorations or transportation can also impact the environment negatively. Conventional contamination remediation methods could rapidly remove spilled oil but in most cases, such remediation indicates the transfer of contaminants from one environmental medium to another with the production of even more toxic byproducts. With increasing attention to develop biological alternatives for petrochemical remediation, biosurfactants have come to play a major role in this entire scenario. Petroleum remediation enhanced microbial oil recovery and bioremediation of soil and water have provided a wide scope to biosurfactants market, due to the product’s dispersion capabilities, low toxicity, and biodegradability.
Bio based technology has increasingly come to replace conventional chemical technologies. However, they are expensive to operate and developing profitable business models can prove to be a challenge. Nonetheless, international regulatory bodies are largely supporting the use of bio-based materials, a factor that can contribute to biosurfactants industry growth. Though there is a significant shortage of the highly skilled workers that the bio-based business sphere demands, the methods of producing them are comparatively cheap and cost-efficient. With tremendous potential for application in a plethora of industries, biosurfactants are anticipated to become one of the most notable multifunctional materials of the 21st century, gradually stimulating biosurfactants market outlook.