In this article, we discuss our research into and product development of a new Mera Chemicals Silfax product. It provides an alternative for our clients struggling to get their hands on silicone based defoamers for their industrial and food grade applications. It’s an exciting time to be part of the chemical industry here in Australia!
There is an English proverb that says, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and there is no doubt that the current shortage of silicon metal due to production cuts in China are having an impact on silicon supplies, and derivative products across the world.
The shortage of silicon metal, of shipping containers, of silicone polymers have led to the extreme result of several companies declaring Force Majeure and being unable to fulfil supply contracts. Prices have skyrocketed and price performance on silicone polymer-based antifoam products will be difficult to maintain at current levels. You can find out more about the silicon shortage in this article from Bloomberg.
When the silicone shortage became apparent, the team at Mera Chemicals led by Dr John Stavrakis took to the lab to develop an alternative solution to their silicone antifoam and defoaming products to ensure that their customers could continue production.
With much research and testing, they have come up with a solution that will keep the wheels of Australian industries turning until the silicone shortage resolves itself, or even possibly a permanent alternative!
The product that they have developed uses a hydrophobic polymer to make an alternative type of defoamer. There are two versions of the product. One for industrial use and one for food grade use. These reduce the dependence on manufacturing the hard-to-get and expensive silicone polymer.
The alternative formula remains very stable under wide range of temperatures and reduce surface tension to destabilise foam.
The Mera defoaming products and their new alternative are described in the table below:
% ACTIVITY ORIGINAL PRODUCT NEW PRODUCT APPLICATION AREA
10 SILFAX D2 (FG) SILFAX D2W (FG) FOOD GRADE
20 SILFAX D20 (FG) SILFAX D20W (FG) FOOD GRADE
30 SILFAX D3 (FG) SILFAX D3W (FG) FOOD GRADE
10 SILFAX D2 SILFAX D2W INDUSTRIAL
20 SILFAX D20 SILFAX D20W INDUSTRIAL
30 SILFAX D3 SILFAX D3W INDUSTRIAL
The great news for our food grade and brewing customers is that we have approvals for all our current certifications including Halal, Kosher, HACCP and Organic.
Many of Mera Chemicals’ customers are currently requesting samples of the product to test in their own applications. It is currently being tested across multiple industries with promising results.
As Dr John Stavrakis, the Managing and Technical Director of Mera Chemicals says “We were relieved to be able to get an alterative product to the market. Being able to offer our direct and distributor clients an alternative to the silicon based defoamers they have relied on is a research and development highlight amidst critical supply shortages. We are thrilled to offer a local manufacturing solution.”
If you are concerned about running out of your current silicon based defoaming product, or worried about the cost of replacing, it, we can help. Get in touch and we can send you a complimentary sample to evaluate in your own processing or manufacturing ecosystem. We are interested in customer feedback from a wide range of applications.
For a sample of our silicon alternative defoaming and antifoam product, get in touch with us at email@example.com To stay in touch with Mera Chemicals and to be the first to know about research and development and new local products, follow our company page on LinkedIn here.