Antifoaming Agents: How to Avoid Foam in Refineries

Antifoaming Agents: How to Avoid Foam in Refineries

Foam causes many issues during the oil refinery process and can be challenging to troubleshoot. Determining the root cause of the problem involves precise testing to determine the proper solution. However, before you can do all this, you need to know everything about foaming and what you can do to stop it.

What is foaming?

Foam is a collection of tiny air bubbles that appear on or near the surface of a liquid, such as oil. When in overdose, foam can leak out through dipsticks, breathers, and sight glasses. When there is foam in oil, it is difficult to control the temperature because the foam acts as a thermal insulator. In addition, excessive oxidation can occur as well as cavitation and loss of lubricating properties of the oil.

How does this happen?

Oiling occurs through aeration, a mixing process that combines air with a liquid. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally as oil passes through pipelines during the refining process. There can be many reasons for foaming machinery lubrication Including:

  • defoment finished
  • water contamination
  • mechanical issues
  • solid contamination
  • Filling the Sump with Bath Lubricant Compartments and Splashes
  • Fluid contamination with grease or the wrong lubricant
  • Too many additives in defoamant

How can antifoam chemicals prevent this?

The first step is to find out if a mechanical or chemical problem is causing the foam. If the problem isn’t mechanical, you need to look into chemical solutions involving an antifoaming agent. Antifoam chemicals can prevent foam from forming and defoamers break down existing foam.

specific types of chemicals

Antifoaming agents also have defoaming properties. Different antifoam chemicals are used in different liquids. However, when it comes to the refinery process, antifoams are made using hydrocarbons, organic chemicals or silicon. Fatty alcohols, esters and polyols make up organic anti-foam. Nevertheless, silicone antifoaming agents are efficient because they are available as silicone liquids, hydrophobic or substituted fluids, or emulsions. Defoaming agents contain natural or mineral oils, silicone or silicone-free active substances, oil-free components, and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Foam is made more stable by hydrocarbons, solids, and heat-stable salts, among other contaminants, and can present serious problems during the industrial process. Finding out the cause and solution should be implemented as soon as possible before further damage occurs. Antifoam chemicals and defoamers used in the refinery process must not solidify or chemically react with the oil. Preventing foam build-up improves refinery processes and results in reduced downtime as well as expense reduction. Refinery plant equipment will not be damaged and growth and revenue can be achieved by producing high quality products and customer service.

Berryman Chemical

Our team has decades of experience creating custom chemical blends to ensure your facility is operating at peak efficiency. We will develop antifoam chemicals for oil and gas production, deliver them directly to your facility and monitor your chemical program to minimize disruptions. Contact us to start a custom chemical program for your facility and maximize your production.

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