Kingdom of Norway
Research Council of Norway
FOAM – THE CHEMICAL PHENOMENON FOAM AND
FACTORS INFLUENCING THE FOAMING ABILITIES OF
The chemical phenomenon foam is well integrated into our everyday life, maybe without us even thinking about why certain substances produce foam. One of the most common foaming agents are tensides, which we, among other things, find in soaps.
In my project I studied the chemical abilities of various tensides found in three types of soap. In the research, I studied the foaming abilities of the soaps dissolved in water using a self-constructed imitation of a standardised test. The method shows the foaming abilities of the tensides by turbulently mixing when the solution with soap is controllingly poured into another solution from a given height. This is much like the mixing of water we observe in natural waterfalls in rivers. With this method, I studied how the foaming abilities of the three different soaps were affected by the concentration of tensides, water temperature, water hardness and the salt concentration in the water.
The results from the experiments showed that the various soaps had very different foaming abilities in different environments. The results can also be relevant when finding the optimal tenside for particular use in a specific environment, which may contribute to a more conscious use of chemicals.