Foam is formed when gas is enclosed in a thin film of – usually – liquid. The foam is unstable and sooner or later it will collapse. As soon as you stop shaking a bottle of water, the air reverts to air and water to water. If a few drops of detergent or shampoo are added to water, the foam lasts longer because the air bubbles are stabilized by a surfactant.
While formation of foam is desirable in many everyday situations, the opposite is true for certain industrial processes – foam would complicate the manufacturing of anything from ethanol to sugar. This is why antifoam agents are used to destabilise bubbles and thus reduce foam formation.
One important category of antifoam agents contains mineral oils, usually together with surfactants. This is an attractive market for Nynas, as naphthenic process oils have good solubility for the other ingredients in the formula as well as relatively good compatibility with water. Other benefits are good health and environmental properties. All of this is an asset when you are customising an antifoam agent for use in, for example, the manufacture of paint.
To be continued by you...
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