The global market for bio-based surfactants is expected to grow 3% to 5% per year and hit $36.5 billion by 2017, according to MarketsandMarkets, which attributes the growth to changing buying habits, consumer awareness and tougher chemical regulations. Bio-based plants are replacing synthetic alcohols and lauryl alkylbenzene sulphonates in production, and retailers are responding to consumer demand for more sustainable goods, said Andy Corr of Elevance Renewable Sciences.

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