The 7th ICIS World Surfactants Conference :: Home The 7th ICIS World Surfactants Conference :: Home

The changing landscape of the surfactants industry: defining sustainability and market growth opportunities

Our Sponsors

The 7th ICIS World Surfactants Conference took place on 17 - 19 May 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City, USA. This two and a half day event was hugely successful attracting over 190 attendees representing 340 companies from 50 countries. For further information on this year's event, please continue reading through the website. Couldn't attend this year? Presentations from this year's Conference are available. Simply contact us for more information.
The surfactants industry is rapidly evolving, with the growing consumer’s demand and quality requirements for end-user products. As sustainability becomes the major factor for innovation and emerging trends in the downstream sectors, companies are continuously driving their R&D efforts to keep up with the changing landscape.
Across the course of two days, more than 15 experts from the entire surfactants value chain will highlight the potential implications, global trends and scenarios for the industry in the coming years.
Conference highlights:
  • Current political climate and its implications for the chemical industry and trade
  • What is the next “big thing” in surfactants and the emerging areas for innovations and R&D?
  • Trends in personal and homecare sectors and how they impact the surfactant value chain
  • Oleo vs Petro detergent alcohols: A shifting balance of power?
  • Regional outlook for linear alpha olefins and ethylene oxide: supply, demand and investment landscape

LATEST NEWS: ICIS Surfactants Awards winners announced!

Here is a selection of companies who have registered so far, request the full list.


The speaker program will address "The changing landscape of the surfactants industry: defining sustainability and market growth opportunities ".

Conference Day 1: Thursday 18 May

Registration & Welcome Refreshments
Chair’s opening remarks
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
Examining the new political climate and implications for the industry and trade
  • Geopolitics: impact on business and trade dynamics
  • What does the 2016 US Election mean for the chemical industry?
  • What will Brexit mean for global and European trade?
  • How can the industry adapt to changes?
Robert Fry, Chief Economist, Robert Fry Economics LLC
Global trends affecting the surfactants industry today and tomorrow
  • Changing competitive landscape of the chemicals industry
  • Determining surfactant growth segments and key areas for investment
  • Sustainable chemistry in the value chain – impact on surfactants
  • Industry forecast: where is the industry going in the next few years?
Joel Houston, President, COLIN A HOUSTON & ASSOCIATES
Networking break
Branched Alcohols: Enabling high performance and biodegradable surfactants
  • Desirable product performance attributes of branched alcohol ethoxylates
  • Can branched alcohols be used for biodegradable surfactants?
  • Recent biodegradability test results from ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc.
Gail E Bragin, Environmental Toxicologist, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc
Oleo and Petro detergent alcohols: A shifting balance of power?
  • Perspective on supply and demand dynamics
  • Primary factors for oleochemical vs petrochemical feedstock comparison: sustainability, cost, performance
  • Future trends and investments
Paul Sharko, Senior Engineer, Process Technology, SHELL
Lunch and networking break
Linear Alpha Olefins: Opportunities for an overlooked hydrophobe
  • What are alpha olefins?
  • Routes to their production
  • Opportunities for alpha olefins as surfactant feedstocks
What’s happening in the Ethylene Oxide market?
  • Supply, demand and new capacity developments
  • Regional analysis
  • Shale gas and crude oil impacts
James Ray, Senior Consultant, ICIS Consulting
Networking break
What’s on the industry’s mind: Results of the Surfactants Survey 2017
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
Time for a more natural approach to personal care?
  • The next big thing in surfactants is... your biome
  • How probiotics could start a personal care revolution
Larry Weiss, Chief Medical Officer, AOBiome
Surfactants in the global oil & gas sector
  • Key market trends across the business segments: EOR, unconventional drilling, offshore, etc.
  • Growth viability in light of the current oil market
  • Demand forecast for oilfield surfactants
  • Emerging opportunitites for surfactants suppliers
Anton Kaiser, Global Innovation Manager EOR & Scale, CLARIANT
Chair’s closing remarks
Drinks reception and end of Day One
The ICIS Surfactants Awards Ceremony

Conference Day 2: Friday 19 May

Registration & Welcome Refreshments
Chair’s reconvening remarks
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
Panel discussion: The next Big Thing in surfactants
  • What is it?
  • How can you benefit from it or protect yourself?
  • Current state and outlook for the future
  • Biosurfactants – are they commercially viable?
Martin Vollmer, Chief Technology Officer, CLARIANT
Chris Sayner, VP Customer Alliances, Corporate Sustainability, CRODA
Martin Herrington, President, North America, IP SPECIALITIES
Overcoming the challenges of Ethylene Oxide transportation
  • Demand for more sustainable solutions driven by customer and regulatory pressure
  • Latest regulation updates for EO transport via rail, road and shipment
  • Identifying supply chain factors and complexities
  • Lessons learnt from the industry
Eric Pudimott, Manager, Licensing, Scientific Design Company Inc.
Morning Break
Reinventing household care for South America


  • Appealing to the economizing consumer: Health and sustainability
  • Economic hardship and natural resource scarcity in South America
  • Opportunity for brands at the intersection of sustainability and frugality
Jamie Rosenberg, Senior Global Analyst, MINTEL
Succeeding in the high-stakes pressure cooker that is homecare
  • Combining innovation and sustainability
  • Convincing consumers to fire their current cleaning jobs and start new ones
Michael Ott, Vice President, R&D Cleaning-PPD-International, The Clorox Company
Chair’s closing remarks
Lunch and end of conference
Pre-conference Seminar

The seminar program will look at "Innovation in the surfactants industry: new technologies, biosurfactants and emerging trends". 


The ICIS World Surfactants Conference agenda annually features a cutting edge speaker line-up of senior industry experts from the highest profile companies in the world.

Well balanced topics presented.
Purchasing Manager, BYK USA
Good overview of surfactants in broad range of industries, issues.
R & D Manager, CRODA
Very informative.
Senior Sales Manager, KSA
Very productive use of time and relevant subject matter.
President, DEFOREST
Overall very informative and comprehensive including a full range of surfactant markets and aspect of supply chain.
Quality speakers and good info.
A very complete and informative conference.
BD Manager, IDESA
Excellent networking combined with great presentations.
Market Sales Manager, SASOL
Excellent presentations!!
LAB – Business, RELIANCE

We offer a wide range of sponsorship and branding opportunities to meet your marketing needs. Maximise your exposure at The ICIS World Surfactants Conference and find out which sponsorship packages are still available.

Our Sponsors

Contact us

+44 (0) 20 8652 3887