A defoamer is an anti-foaming agent and a type of chemical additive that decreases and restricts the development of foam – a matter generated due to the trapping of gas in a liquid or solid, in industrial process liquids. Defoamers display surface active properties and are not soluble in a foaming medium. An important characteristic of a defoamer is its low viscosity and ability to disperse rapidly on foamy surfaces.
In industrial processes, undesirable results such as biochemical and oxygen transmission from air are hampered due to foam formation. Defoamers subvert the foam, thus improving elasticity and surface viscosity, which ultimately translates into increased efficiency in various industrial processes. Defoamers aid detergents to clean with increased efficiency by decreasing the surface tension and reducing the quantity of water used. Hence, defoamers find applications as additives in numerous cleaning uses. Considering the numerous industrial applications of defoamers where foam formation poses major concerns, research on the global defoamers market becomes a necessary study.
Also, using defoamers aids in alleviating problems associated with the development of deposits, bacteria formation and drainage issues, which considerably helps reduce machinery damage. Silicon-based defoamers are heavy duty type and are suitable for neutralizing surface foam and to release the entrained air in non-aqueous foaming applications. Hence, they have been finding preferential application in crude oil refineries. As a result, the growing oil and gas industry is also expected to drive the worldwide market growth of defoamers.
The rising demand for defoamers from the pulp and paper industry (to improve the drainage of sulfite stock and kraft pulp stock), paints & coatings industry, wastewater treatment processes and food & beverage industry is expected to drive the defoamers market over the next few years. In the pulp and paper industry, application of defoamers helps eliminate preventable spending on energy and operations. It has been observed that water-based defoamers are the most rapidly growing segment in the recent past. However, strict regulations have been imposed on the use of defoamers, specifically containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Also, issues pertaining to health which may be amplified by certain defoamers could dampen the growth rate of the global defoamers market.
Recently, defoamers are being used in the manufacture of fried food products and other beverages, as additives, in order to increase the quality of foods and beverages and shelf-life of these products. This, in turn, has been propelling growth of the defoamers market. It should be noted that in recent times, wastewater treatment facilities have been readying themselves to meet rising expectations in terms of pure water and decreased biochemical oxygen demand of industry discharge water, thereby denoting a strong growth potential for the defoamers market in the next few years.
It has been observed that as compared to other organic chemicals, silicon-based defoamers possess preferred characteristics, such as more reactivity with process ingredients, low surface tension as compared to organic products, long operational lifespan and insolubility. The defoamers market demand is expected to be driven by the need for less toxic and biodegradable defoamers. Manufacturers of defoamers have been looking towards working on producing environment-friendly and low cost defoamers to meet industry needs, thereby expecting to boost the market growth of defoamers.
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