Surfactant innovation returns after recession - producers

28 January 2011 03:40  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO (ICIS)--Innovation activities in the surfactant industry have been increasing again after lying low during the recession in 2009, officials from surfactant producers BASF and Evonik Goldschmidt said on Thursday.

Surfactants are major chemical ingredients in detergents and other cleaning products.

During the recession, consumers of cleaning products and household detergents traded down from high performance brands to value brands, said Reinhold Brand, president of Evonik Goldschmidt, on the sidelines of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“In 2010, consumer confidence started to come back and so the need for higher valued cleaning products. We are seeing companies offering innovative surfactant products once again,” said Brand.

Evonik Goldschmidt launched two surfactant offerings last year, one for home care and I&I (industrial and institutional) cleaning applications, and the other for automotive cleaning use.

BASF also noted 2010 as more of an innovation recovery for the surfactant industry.

The company expects further innovation activities especially in personal care now that it has a bigger surfactant portfolio coming from the newly acquired Cognis business, said Gabriel Tanbourgi, president, care chemicals at BASF.

With the integration of Cognis, Tanbourgi said he expected to complete a high level of reorganisation within the care chemicals business within the next several weeks before going through Cognis’ research and development portfolio.

The ACI meeting ends Saturday.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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