Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) is a surface-active agent produced from etherification of nonylphenol (NP). NPE is termed as a ‘workhorse’ surfactant due to its cost-effectiveness and high performance in multiple applications in textile and footwear materials, as scouring agents, spinning oils, and wetting agents among others.
- NPE is mainly used as a surfactant in detergents, emulsifiers, adhesives, dry cleaning aid, and agrochemicals accounting about 80% of NPE consumption by these sectors. Remaining 20% accounts for its use in antioxidant for rubber and as lube oil additive (according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) NPE, action plan 2010)
- However, according to Danish EPA 2015, consumption of NPE decreased from 118,000 tons per year in 1997 to 18,000 tons per year in 2011, attributed to strict regulations applied on use of NPEs
- Due to toxic nature of NPE, 13 specific NPEs were added to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemical by US EPA rule in June 2018. When NPE is released in water, it breaks down to nonylphenol and few short chain compounds, which are highly toxic for aquatic organisms.
- Release of NPE into the aquatic environment may occur due to washing of textile articles containing NPE detergent. In February 2016, the Official Journal of European Union declared that textile materials that contain NPE equal or greater than 0.01% will be banned from sale within EU from February 3, 2021. According to European Council for Alkylphenols and Derivatives (July 2017), the companies those who wish to continue NPE use for special need must apply to European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by July 4, 2019.
- In May 2012, US EPA released its report ‘DfE Alternatives Assessment for Nonylphenol Ethoxylates’ that states few alternatives such as alcohol ethoxylates or fatty alcohol ethoxylates can be used in detergents instead of NPEs
- Therefore, strict regulations on the use of NPE and availability of its alternatives may hamper growth of the nonylphenol ethoxylate market during the forecast period
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate Market Outlook:
- According to Danish EPA 2015, few applications of NPE are not covered under restricted use, which means the companies may continue the use NPE in such industries where its application is not banned. These applications include emulsion polymerisation (12% of total NPE consumption), chemical industry (for synthesis of nonylphenol ether sulphates and nonylphenol ether phosphates, contributing 9% NPE consumption) and paints (4% of NPE consumption). Moreover another 9% NPE consumption can be attributed to electronic industry, mineral fuel & oil industry, and civil engineering sector. Demand for NPE from these sectors is expected to propel NPE market growth during the forecast period.
- Key players operating in the global nonylphenol ethoxylate market include Dow Chemical Company , Solvay, KH Chemicals, Huntsman International LLC., Stepan Company, Dover Chemical Corporation, India Glycols Limited, and Isfahan Copolymer
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate Market Taxonomy:
On the basis of application, global nonylphenol ethoxylate market is segmented into:
- Scouring agent
- Wetting agent
On the basis of end-use industry, global nonylphenol ethoxylate market is segmented into:
- Industrial & institutional cleaning
- Pulp & Paper processing
On the basis of region, global nonylphenol ethoxylate market is segmented into:
- North America
- South America
- Rest of South America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa