Foam, a bubbly liquid, is often produced as an unwanted byproduct during the manufacture of various substances. Foam poses difficulties to various industries such as chemicals, especially during the biochemical process. It hampers the flow of liquid and blocks transfer of oxygen from air. Therefore, defoamers such as silicone oils are added to prevent problems due to foam. Defoamers are generally insoluble in the foaming medium and possess surface active properties. One of the essential characteristics of defoamers is that they offer low viscosity and spread rapidly on the foamy surface.
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Based on product types, the defoamers market can be classified into water-based defoamers, oil-based defoamers, silicone-based defoamers, and others (EO/PO-based defoamers, etc.) Silicone-based and oil-based defoamers are the major product segment of the defoamers market. The market for silicone-based defoamers is essentially driven by their versatility and acceptability in a wide variety of conditions. Furthermore, growing application of defoamers in different end-user industries is an important factor driving the defoamers market. Thus, demand for defoamers is expected to increase by the end of 2023.
In terms of demand, silicone-based defoamers dominated the defoamers market in 2014. These defoamers combine two essential properties, i.e., involatility and low surface tension. Silicone defoamers are also chemically inert and insoluble in water and other organic systems. Their property of chemical inertness makes them relatively nontoxic to both humans and the environment. Silicone defoamers are best suited for prevention of foam under conditions of high shear and high levels of low surface tension surfactants. Water-based defoamers is one of the fastest-growing product segments. It is anticipated to constitute more than 20% share of the Latin America defoamers market in 2023. Water-based defoamers have different types of waxes and oils dispersed in a water base. They are considered to be the best deaerators, i.e., they are best at releasing entrapped air. Other types of defoamers such as oil-based defoamers are estimated to exhibit steady growth during the next few years.
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In terms of country, Brazil held the largest share of over 60% of the defoamers market in Latin America in 2014. Demand for defoamers in Brazil is estimated to rise at a faster rate by the end of 2023 due to large consumption base and growth of various end-user industries. In terms of demand, Brazil and Argentina are projected to dominate the defoamers market in Latin America. Colombia and Rest of Latin America are estimated to expand at a sluggish rate by the end of 2023.
Companies such as Kemira Oyj, Wacker Química do Brasil Ltda., Bluestar Silicones, Dow Corning Co., EMERALD LATIN AMERICA, The Dow Chemical Company, Allnex Belgium SA/NV, BASF S.A., Ashland Inc., Elementis plc, and Clariant AG. are prominent players of the defoamers.