Surfactants Business Essentials

Contact the training team


Change is sweeping the global surfactants markets, as vertical integration in Southeast Asia coincides with the shale gas revolution in the US, shaking up the competitive landscape and forcing industry players to reassess their position. In these uncertain times, it’s essential to have a clear view of the business essentials, and factors driving the surfactants markets.

This one-day course offers a non-technical view of the surfactants industry, giving you a sound understanding of value chains, costs and prices, and where opportunities and challenges lie, to help you make smart decisions in this sector.

Enquire about the course now »

How can you benefit from this course?

  • Gain in-depth insights into latest trends and developments in global surfactants
  • Understand the factors driving costs and prices in key markets
  • Explore upstream/downstream markets and their impact on surfactants
  • Learn about the types of surfactants, production and applications
  • Gain understanding on how these markets function, and how they impact you
  • Find out who are the major players and what their strategies are

Past attendees include:




Welcome and Introduction

Registration and Refreshments

Understanding surfactants

  • What are surfactants?
  • Classes of surfactants
  • Major applications of surfactants


Production routes to surfactants

  • Key raw materials – petrochemicals, oleochemicals
  • Other emerging feedstocks
  • Major manufacturing processes



Industry Structure

  • Demand and supply drivers
  • Demand across geographies
  • Who are the major players and their strategies


Exercise – Building the surfactants value chain

Price and cost drivers

  • What are the key price drivers?
  • How are prices set?
  • Influence of raw material costs
  • How are prices assessed?


Future trends

  • New developments in the surfactants industry
  • Demand and supply outlook
  • Feedstock availability
  • Key issues facing the industry – environmental, regulatory, supply chain


Group Quiz



Reserve your place now


Neil Burns – Neil A Burns LLC

Neil has over 25 years of experience in the chemicals and surfactants business. His firm, Neil A Burns LLC provides investment and advisory services to companies in the surfactant value chain.

As part of this business he also represents Desmet Ballestra in the North American market for detergents and surfactants technology. In addition he is a founder and the CEO of P2 Science, Inc. a renewable chemical company. His previous experience includes the chemicals group at Rio Tinto Zinc plc, Oliver Wyman Consulting, Pilot Chemical Co, VVF Ltd and Oxiteno.

Neil is an experienced public speaker and currently partners with ICIS to produce surfactants conferences globally. He is based in New Jersey in the US.


Course Fees

If you require fees information, please contact us via


In-House Training

ICIS works alongside our clients to create bespoke training courses that mould our expertise and your specific needs. We’ll pinpoint the current expertise of your employees, areas for improvement, and your business goals, and develop a training course that will bring tangible benefits to your business.

Our custom training courses are delivered as interactive workshops, focusing on the products, concepts and issues that are most relevant and beneficial to you.

  • Save money on transportation and accommodation, with training at a convenient location
  • Flexibility – you determine the length and duration of the sessions
  • Interactive workshops with hands-on exercises, to reinforce key skills, techniques and concepts
  • Take-away the course materials, presentations and background information for future reference

To enquire about in-house training for this course please click here and a member of our team will get back to you.


Related courses

Petrochemicals: An In-Depth Introduction

This two-day course offers a comprehensive overview of petrochemical markets, looking at trade flows, regional dynamics, pricing, and factors driving the industry. It also offers expert insights into the outlook for petrochemicals.

Read more

Fundamentals of Petrochemical Plant Economics & Forecasting

Get to grips with pricing and profitability in petrochemicals markets, exploring cost structures, value chains, margins, price drivers and more. This one-day course also covers the fundamentals of forecasting and price negotiations.

Read more

Upcoming Surfactants Courses



View the full forward schedule

Here’s what our previous delegates have to say about this course

Neil Burns takes a proper group approach to the course, as he draws on the inherent talents of technical and business personnel who participate. Anyone who wants to think and act more strategically about the future opportunities in surfactants should attend.

Frequently Asked Questions