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Oleochemicals Vis-A-Vis Petrochemicals

Over the last ten years, the surfactant industry has, seen changes in preference fo surfactant raw materials. In the early 90's, a trend towards the use of naturalbased or oleochemical raw materials for the surfactant industry was expezienced due to claims that such raw materials were more environmentally acceptable. However, due to results of life cycle analysis (LCA) done on natural alcohols and synthefic alcohols, and the persistent high prices of lauric oils over the last three years, the trend towards the use of oleochernical raw materials has. slowed down, ifnot, reversed. This paper will study the issues surrounding this shift and will discuss the directions that the coconuts oll industry should take to influence the consumption of naturalbased products in the surfactant industry.

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