Ether carboxylate is one of the major sub-types of a carboxylate which is produced from the reaction of ethoxylated alcohols with sodium chloracetate. Its manufacturing process involves etherification where a carboxyl group-containing compound and a hydroxyl group-containing compound are reacted in an aqueous medium with the help of a rare earth element containing catalyst. The carboxyl group containing compound present in the reaction is one compound which is selected from carboxyl group containing epoxy compounds as well as unsaturated carboxyl group containing compounds. Ether carboxylates are widely used in personal care products, surfactants, admixtures applied in the construction as well as serve as the vital component of superplasticizers. As surfactants, ether carboxylate produces an ultralow interfacial tension (IFT) under high temperature and high salinity conditions. Their consumption in the textile industry is based on their electrolyte, alkali, and hard water stability as well as their good wetting and detergent properties. As compared to cold process soaps, ether carboxylates are less sensitive to hard water and more soluble in water. In addition, they impart good wetting and foam stabilizing properties as well as provide creaminess and mildness in the finished products. Owing to their property of being substantive to hair and skin, ether carboxylate exhibits a conditioned feeling to the human body. When combined with alkyl ether sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate, they are used for manufacturing shampoos on account of their compatibility with cationic ingredients.
The global market for ether carboxylate has been witnessing a significant increase on account of growth of its application industries such as personal care and surfactants. Ether carboxylate shares a wide application scope in various industries such as soaps, detergents, textiles, shampoos, and plasticizers among others. In addition, bio-based surfactants has emerged as one of the major opportunities for the growth of the surfactant industry due to growing awareness among consumers towards eco-friendly products which in turn has contributed towards the growing demand for ether carboxylate in surfactants. Major applications of ether carboxylate-based surfactants include detergents, pharmaceuticals, textile and personal care among others.
Other applications of ether carboxylate include the manufacturing of plasticizers. The market for ether carboxylate in plasticizer has been witnessing significant growth on account of emerging economies and changing lifestyles. In addition, rising environmental awareness coupled with increasing legal provisions have been serving as catalysts for the plasticizers market in certain emerging economies such as India, China, Russia and Brazil. While matured regions such as North America and Europe accounted for the highest demand for ether carboxylate due to presence of vast and skin care and hair care industries, emerging regions such as Asia Pacific are anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the next few years on account of vast textile industries in economies such as China as well as growing demand for personal care products. Various factors such as rising awareness regarding healthy hair and skin among consumers as well as changing lifestyles are expected to boost the demand for personal care products which in turn is anticipated to contribute towards the demand for ether carboxylate. Growing demand for personal care products such as skin care and hair care on account of increasing awareness for healthy skin and hair is anticipated to be on the major factors driving the market for ether carboxylate. However, fluctuating prices of key feedstock materials has been major concern for the manufacturers and is expected to limit the growth of the market. Focus on commercializing and developing cost-effective bio-based surfactants using ether carboxylate is anticipated to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
BASF SE, Huntsman Corporation, KAO Corporation, and Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd. are some of the key manufacturers of ether carboxylate present in the market.