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Keywords:

  • wet flue gas desulfurization;
  • foaming;
  • antifoaming agent;
  • pH;
  • sodium dodecyl sulfate;
  • protein

Spontaneous foaming can cause a range of operational problems in industrial processes such as wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD). This work investigates the performance of selected antifoaming agents (Nalco FM-37, Foamtrol 2290, and rapeseed oil) on foams generated by egg white albumin (protein), sodium dodecyl sulfate, and adipic acid at conditions of relevance for wet FGD plants. The addition of antifoaming agents breaks any existing foam and causes an induction period without foaming, after which the foam gradually will begin to reappear. Foaming by egg white albumin (2 g/L) at 0.014 m/s could be controlled by both commercial antifoaming agents (6.4 g/L), but not by rapeseed oil addition. Foaming by pure commercial antifoaming agents has also been demonstrated: up to 7 × 10−2 m foam was observed with 6.4 g/L Nalco FM-37. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 3741–3747, 2013