Can we continue to Formulate and Innovate?
What are the future prospects for innovation for the formulators of speciality chemicals, such as those involved in the development of surfactant-based products? There are many drivers, regulatory and otherwise, which impact both positively and negatively on producers of performance products but there is also some cause for optimism.
The impact of REACH on formulators, as opposed to the ingredient suppliers embroiled in the registration of substances, has been minimal to date but this will change as the lower tonnage registration deadlines for manufactured or imported substances come into force (31 May 2013 for 100 to 1000 tonnes and 31 May 2018 for 10 to 100 tonnes). Will an essential, low volume speciality ingredient be registered or be taken off the market? There is no incentive for an ingredient supplier to give notice of a material being withdrawn. Will replacement materials be available or will the formulator have to revert to previously used, less acceptable materials from a performance, environment or sustainability viewpoint? This realisation may only just be dawning on some of the smaller formulators.
In the surfactants sector there is already a percepti ...