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Fight Foam To Facilitate Efficient Operations

June 15, 2017
White paper details several types of foams and how to minimize or eliminate them all together.

Download the white paper now!

Let’s face it – many processes are susceptible to foam. Besides inducing false level readings, foam causes lots of real operating problems in distillation columns. Once you discover that foam is the culprit, what can you do about it? Understanding the foaming process and the root cause of the foaming will enable you to take steps to eliminate and/or minimize the formation of foaming. When foaming cannot be avoided, process and equipment modifications can be made to successfully deal with the foaming to maintain a properly operating column with efficient operation.

Not all foams are created equally. For example, Ross foams form from a liquid solution with an incipient formation of a second liquid phase. Marangoni foams are stabilized by surface tension gradients due to mass transfer. And particulate foaming happens when solids are present in liquids and increase the solution viscosity. Increased viscosity inhibits the drainage of foams and stabilizes them.

Preventing contaminants from entering the system is nearly always the most effective method to prevent foaming, but often not the most cost effective method. Additionally, anti-foams are commonly used to reduce the foaming tendency of the process. They generally serve to assure a uniform surface tension on the liquid portion of the foam. This removes the surface tension gradient that stabilizes the foams. But Different types of anti-foams work well in some systems and work poorly, or even promote foaming, in other systems.

To help you sort through your foam problems, Sulzer Chemtech has put together a white paper: Foaming in Fractionation Columns. This paper aims to shed light on the foaming process and its root causes so that steps can be taken to eliminate or minimize the formation of foaming.

Download the white paper now.

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