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Petroleum Engineer's Guide to Oil Field Chemicals and Fluids by Johannes Fink

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Chapter 22. Defoamers
Defoaming compositions are commonly used in the oil and gas industry to prevent the formation of foam, hinder the entrainment of a gas in a liquid, or to break a previously formed foam. Defoaming is necessary in several industrial branches and is often a key factor for efficient operation. A review of defoamers has been given by Owen (1996).

Theory of Defoaming

Stability of Foams

Foams are thermodynamically unstable but are prevented from collapsing by the following properties:
• Surface elasticity,
• Viscous drainage,
• Reduced gas diffusion between bubbles, and
• Thin-film stabilization effects from the interaction of opposite surfaces.
The stability of a foam can be explained by the Gibbs elasticity E. This results from reducing ...

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