Detect, analyze and process

Aqueous and non-aqueous

Foam Detection & Control Systems


All the applications listed below have the same underlying problem: the presence of foam, and the need to take the action to deal with it. Hycontrol systems can detect the presence of foam in these and many other applications. Where necessary, the level of the foam above the liquid can also be measured. Hycontrol Foam controllers can be programmed to provide digital outputs to start and stop antifoam agent dosing pumps or other control effectors such as vacuum valves as well as provide real-time liquid level and foam height above liquid signals to supervisory control systems and process operators.

Hycontrol foam systems combat the one Achilles heel of foam detection systems: the effect of process material coating on sensors. Using patented IMA Sensing® Technology, Hycontrol sensors are able to discriminate between residual deposits of process material built up on the sensor itself and the actual foam being created in the process. Effectively, the Foam Sensor ignores fouling while continuing to reliably monitor the process for foam. No matter how heavily the sensor is coated, or how dense and sticky that coating layer is, Hycontrol Foam Detection and measurement systems will keep measuring foam throughout the process cycle.


  • Waste Water Treatment PlantDischarge to Rivers & Water Courses
  • Fermentation Effluent Tanks
  • Aeration Lagoons
  • Aeration Tanks
  • Gas Digesters
  • Pump Sumps
  • Centrifuges
  • Clarifiers

Waste water streams contain a wide variety of personal hair products – shampoo, soap, etc. – that must be controlled and removed before treated water is discharged to the environment. Even small amounts of these products can create an impressive amount of foam during processing. Foam detection and prediction are vital to ensure waste water plants can handle foaming both in plant and at discharge.


  • Fermentation ApplicationMonosodium Glutamate Production
  • Pharmaceutical Fermentation
  • Bacterial Culture
  • Bioethanol Production
  • Yeast Fermentation
  • Starch Production
  • Brewing

Foam in fermentation can play havoc with backpressure control in the vessel headspace if it gets into outlet vent condensers and overhead lines. Often as part of a set recipe or procedure, antifoam is added to prevent “foam out”. The addition of reliable foam control prevents overdosing, improving yields and product quality.


  • Mineral Processing PlantFlotation Process
  • Scavenger Cells
  • Roughing Cells
  • Tailing Ponds
  • Pump Sumps
  • Centrifuges
  • Clarifiers

Mineral processing creates a lot of dirty water that must be cleaned up before reuse or discharge. A mixture of chemicals and solids, plant streams can have a high tendency to foam which in turn creates issues with plant equipment and performance. Control of antifoam agent addition can alleviate these problems while controlling the high cost of overdosing.


  • Paper and Pulp Processing PlantSize Press Recirculation Starch Tanks
  • Chemical Pulp Production Clay/Latex
  • Screening & Bleaching Process
  • Black Liquor ~ Soap Interface
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Wet End De Aeration Tanks
  • Brown Stock Washing
  • Coating Tanks
  • Pump Sumps
  • Clarifiers

Antifoams are used to remove entrained air from pulp and the surface foam generated during its production. Typically, the foam control agent is added during the screening and washing of brown stock. Antifoams are also used to remove entrained air and surface foam from paper stock.


  • Food ProcessingSugar Beat Transportation Systems
  • Vegetable Processing Systems
  • All Water Transport Systems
  • French Fries Manufacture
  • Potato Crisp Manufacture
  • Sugar Beat Processing
  • Vegetable Washing
  • Sugar Pans

Chip and French Fry manufacture, in particular, produce large amounts of foam as does the washing of peas, sugar beat and other root vegetables. Root vegetables have a high Saponins content in their skins causing foaming when washed and peeled. An aqueous foam control system is needed to inject antifoam in the correct amount only when required.


  • Paint and CoatingsPVC Paints and Adhesives
  • Starch Based Adhesives
  • Polymer Latex Systems
  • Inks
  • Coatings
  • Paints
  • Pigment Grinds
  • Adhesives
  • Varnishes
  • Epoxies
  • Acrylics
  • Alkyds

Foam control agents are used to prevent air entrainment during the production of paints and varnishes. They are also used prevent air bubbles from causing defects in the coating upon application.


  • Solvent Recovery ProcessingParticularly Isopropyl Alcohol Recovery
  • All General Solvent Recovery

Some processes recover used solvent via a distillation process, either in vessels or in columns. Liquids are heated and solvents are boiled off to be condensed at collection points. Antifoam additions may be required to prevent foam getting into overheads and up into columns.


  • Oil and GasProcessed Water Tanks
  • Shale Gas Pipe Lines
  • Crude Oil Distillation
  • Mud Logging Tanks
  • Gas-Oil Separation
  • Gas Compressors
  • Knockout Drums
  • Amine Plants
  • Drilling Mud

In the Petroleum Industry foam is generated in a range of oil processes i.e. Gas-Oil Separation, Crude Oil Distillation and Drilling Muds. Huge savings in antifoam are possible on some of these applications if the correct instrument is installed.

Have an Application?

Let Hycontrol give you a foam measurement and control solution – download an application data sheet, fill in your process specifications and send it to us. We’ll come back to you with a configuration that will suit your needs.

Need more Details?

For more details on these or any other application, send us an email and we’ll get back to you.