Recently there has been a strong trend in replacing conventional surfactants with more environmentally benign compounds and manufacturers are exploring novel eco-friendly alternatives produced from bio-based sources and sustainable methods. Surfactants such as Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylates have been found to be degrade into toxic by products which have serious health implications.
Issues with (NPE)
: NPEs degrade to nonylphenol (NP). NPs are persistent, bio-accumulative and known to act as a hormone endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimics.
The challenge is to find surfactants that are non-toxic and biodegradable but meet performance requirements at low cost.