Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules that include waxes, fats, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin A, D, E, and K. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants produced by various bacterial species. These bacterial surfactants are extensively used in industrial applications. They are majorly produced by pathogens called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. There are two main classes of rhamnolipids: rhamnolipids and di-rhamnolipids. Rhamnolipids are ideal materials used for cleaning oil stains. They are also used in foaming and cleaning agents in soaps, shampoos, and industrial cleaners. Rhamnolipids find application in food, pharmaceutical, and oil industries, among others.
Biosurfactants are potential replacements for synthetic surfactants in several industrial applications. These include lubrication, wetting, softening, fixing dyes, making emulsions, stabilizing dispersions, foaming, and bioremediation of organic- or inorganic-contaminated sites apart from food, biomedical, and pharmaceutical industries. Increasing demand for biosurfactants due to their rising application in agriculture, detergents, and oil & gas industries is expected to drive growth of the rhamnolipids market in the near future.
Oil-contaminated soil is especially difficult for bioremediation as excess oil forms droplets or film on soil particles, which is a powerful barrier against microbial degradation. Several biosurfactants are produced by a variety of microorganisms in order to survive in an oil-rich environment. Rhamnolipids are suitable for application in the oil industry. Thus, growing application of rhamnolipids in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) due to their excellent emulsification properties is expected to positively impact the rhamnolipid market in the near future. Moreover, increasing application of rhamnolipids in personal care products due to their good foaming and wetting tendencies is anticipated to drive the industry growth. Rising trend of functional foods, increasing acceptance of specialty detergents, and growth of the pharmaceuticals industry are some of the key factors driving the global rhamnolipids market.
Together, North America and Europe accounted for a major share of the global rhamnolipids market in 2013. Progressive and advanced healthcare industry in these regions has been responsible for the large-scale usage of rhamnolipids in pharmaceuticals. Increasing importance of environmental sustainability in Europe has resulted in the implementation of stringent regulatory norms against the application of synthetic products. This trend is estimated to witness increasing application of eco-friendly products such as rhamnolipids. Furthermore, wide consumer acceptance of household products and functional food additives in these countries is expected to drive the demand for rhamnolipids in North America and Europe within the forecast period.
However, Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest growing regions during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to rising awareness regarding health and well-being among individuals coupled with increasing purchasing power and changing retail and dietary preferences. The factors mentioned above are likely to boost the growth of the rhamnolipids market during the forecast period. Increasing production of agricultural products in Latin America due to the application of agroecology techniques is projected to ensure the availability of raw materials for the production of rhamnolipids. This, in turn, is expected to have a positive impact on the market in the near future.
Key manufacturers include Allied Carbon Solutions Ltd., Paradigm Biomedical Inc., AGAE Technologies, Henkel, and Lion Corporation. Besides, small, medium, and large scale manufacturers are located across various regions.