Synthetic Surfactants-A Perspective
The various options for filling the gap in the demand of detergent raw materials out of the various possibilities have been described. Evaluation of each possibility will have to be based on the availability of raw-materials, availability of technology, performance characteristics and cost effectiveness of the end-product produced. As it appears on the first hand, LAB sulphonates, (LABS) are the easiest and already accepted in Indian market. The pre-fractionation of kerosene available in India or the import of high paraffinic kerosene or the parffins itself is a possibility to be used as feedstock for LAB plants. AS it is understood from various international sources, it is presently possible to tie up long term arrangements with major manufacturers of paraffins for supply of raw materials. Alpha-Olefins stands second in preference but first in performance. The second priority has been given to Alpha-Olefins primarily because of likely paucity of availability of ethylene from future petrochemical complexes like MGCC. Meantime economics and desirability of manufacturing alpha olefins out of natural oils has to he further examined Keeping in view the present washing habits prevalent in India, the other raw materials described above cannot have large scope presently, however, they do merit consideration keeping in view the fast changing washing scene in India and the likely washing habits in next decade.
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