Smart Foam Control For II Cleaning

By Dr. Corinna Bu00f6hme, Dr. Sabine Both, Dr. Hans-Christian Raths, Frederic Bauer and Josefine Schru00f6der, Care Chemicals, Home Care and I&I Cognis GmbH, now part of BASF | April 5, 2011

A hydrophilic defoamer from Cognis has a good environmental profile, is easy to work with and improves cleaning performance.

Dehydem Supra is a highly versatile defoamer that delivers four key benefits.
Whether in factories, offices, shopping centers or restaurants, cleanliness is key. In particular, plants that manufacture food and beverages must maintain high hygiene and sanitary standards. To achieve this, they require cleaning additives that fulfill specific demands, such as keeping their processes running efficiently at the same time as providing effective cleaning performance and being environmentally compatible. This, in turn, requires high-performance ingredients that are environmentally sound and safe for users.

The industrial and institutional (I&I) industry today uses an increasing number of highly specialized chemicals for specific applications. Environmental and safety considerations are also very important. As a result, customers demand comprehensive information about products and formulations that reduce labor and process costs; i.e., by reducing water and energy consumption. According to an analysis by the Freedonia Group, the demand for I&I cleaning chemicals will remain robust through 2015 with growth approaching 4% a year. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) expects growth to be particularly strong in the sanitation, janitorial and food industry-related cleaning segments, which together make up more than 62% of the I&I market. During I&I cleaning processes, it is particularly important to prevent the formation of foam, as this reduces effectiveness. A variety of foam-suppressing and defoaming substances are currently available on the market. However, most of these are only suitable for a handful of specific applications. Often defoamers are quite hydrophobic, and thus very difficult, or even impossible, for manufacturers to incorporate into water-based formulations. A hydrophilic defoamer suitable for a broad range of applications, wide effective temperature range and optimum formulation properties would offer an excellent alternative to what is currently on the market.

Four Key Features
Dehydem Supra from Cognis provides precisely these benefits, and is therefore ideal for I&I cleaning applications. It is characterized by four key features—foam control, cleaning, easy to formulate and it contributes to sustainability byreducing the use of additives and energy.

This new type of hydrophilic defoamer has excellent, versatile foam control, along with cleaning properties and ease of formulation, allowing customers to use it in a wide variety of applications in which minimization of foam is essential. Furthermore, this outstanding performance is coupled with a range of sustainability benefits, ensuring that the defoamer meets manufacturers’ demands in terms of effectiveness and environmental soundness.

Effective Foam Suppression
The new versatile defoamer can be employed across a wide range of temperatures in I&I cleaning. To illustrate this, the product’s properties in foam control were examined in a broad range of application conditions, in accordance with the DIN EN 14371:2004 standard.

Figure 1 shows the defoaming performance of Dehydem Supra as well as two other products on the market, a silicone-based emulsion and Dehypon G 2084 from Cognis. The defoaming performance was tested and rated on egg white and various surfactants on a scale of 0 to 5 following a simulated 20°C cold application. The new ingredient demonstrated superior defoaming properties on nearly all the foamy surfactants and the egg white. The only area where its score was average was in the long-term defoaming of fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAEO) with a single application of defoamer. It is also suitable for a significantly wider range of applications than the other two products.

In a further test, the foam-suppressing performance of Dehydem Supra and the two other products was assessed. The test examined the quantity of a foaming agent that could be added to a foam-controlled, water-based acidic or alkaline 65°C solution, before the defoamer was no longer able to prevent the foam content rising (Figure 2). It exhibited excellent foam-suppressing properties for all foaming agents, surfactant-containing and protein-containing cleaning-in-place marks, and clearly outperformed the other products.

Supporting Cleaning Performance
Unlike conventional defoamers such as silicone-based defoamers, Dehydem Supra also has a positive effect on cleaning performance. While other products, such as the silicone-based emulsion and Dehypon G 2084, only diffuse dirt mechanically, the new defoamer cleans stains particularly well, without the presence of additional surfactants (Figure 3). Furthermore, when combined with standard cleaning surfactants, it will not impair their cleaning performance.

Flexible and Versatile
Due to its hydrophilic character, the new defoamer can be employed in a wide range of water-based formulations. Conventional defoamers are significantly more difficult to formulate, or, as in the case of silicone-based emulsions, cannot be incorporated into water-based formulations at all. To illustrate the ease with which it can be formulated, the water tolerance of various mixtures containing Dehydem Supra was assessed. Figure 4 shows three data sets concerning formulability. The product’s flexibility can easily be seen in 1:1 mixtures of Dehydem Supra with Lutensit TCCS 40 (BASF), Lutensol XP 80 (BASF) and Araphen K100 (Cognis). This offers customers a wide range of options for end formulations.

Sustainable and Effective
In addition to its versatility, sustainability aspects were a key priority during the development of Dehydem Supra. The product offers low eco-toxicity, is readily biodegradable, and can be employed in many different applications. The focus on low-temperature applications, in particular, helps reduce the use of resources.

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