Sometimes foam is indispensable: in a luxury hot bath for example, or topping a cool glass of beer. But ask any factory plant manager about foam, and the reaction will be a lot different. Whether the process involves food or biogas, foam is a nuisance in production and can even lead to downtime. No wonder so many companies use additives to prevent foaming.
Roderick van de Weg, Sales Engineer at Van Meeuwen Chemicals, is a specialist in anti-foam additives. He does not only deal with industrial uses: “Anti-foam products are also important in agriculture, for example. Livestock farmers who keep cows or pigs know all about the problem of foaming in the manure pits beneath the stalls. It can become so bad that it rises above the grates. This is not only dirty, it also reduces the efficiency of such a pit.” Other sectors also face their own problems with foam formation. Fortunately, there is a solution for all these challenges. Anti-foam additives contain biological, organic or inorganic compounds, such as vegetable oils, modified oils or polydimethylsiloxane. Products with long names which give an idea about the diversity of solutions available. “We supply anti-foam products to two of the three largest vegetable processors in the Netherlands, among others,” says Van de Weg. During transportation, processing, and cutting of vegetables, a lot of protein and starch is released into the water used in these processes. Using an anti-foam agent keeps foam formation under control and vegetables looking good. Safety in the workplace is another area where anti-foam agents can play a role. “Foam on the floor can be slippery and contaminate machines,” explains Van de Weg, “so it is not good for health & safety. Sometimes, the nuisance caused is so great, that the production process has to be shut down, with all the consequences and costs that implies.”
Foam formation is a well-known problem in biogas production and the food processing, textile and personal care industries. It can even cause production to grind to a halt, so anti-foam additives are essential. This excellent solution prevents and eliminates the build-up of foam, offers long-lasting protection against foam and can be used in very low concentrations. Savings can reach 30%, so you will always save money, while your production process will be visibly improved.
For more info regarding antifoams in different industries visit our special website dedicated to antifoams
Foam can form in a number of ways. It may be the result of physical or chemical aspects and the ingredients or products, or mechanical failures such as a leak in a pump, discharge problems or even a design flaw in a tank or container. Bacteria in a water treatment can also cause foam to develop. With 30 years of experience in anti-foam agents, Van Meeuwen Chemicals has a suitable range of additives for every sector and problem. This range is under continuous development to improve the price-performance ratio.