Foams: From nature to industry

Christopher Hill, Julian Eastoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
514 Downloads (Pure)


This article discusses different natural and man-made foams, with particular emphasis on the different modes of formation and stability. Natural foams, such as those produced on the sea or by numerous creatures for nests, are generally stabilised by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) molecules or proteins. In addition to this, foam nests are stabilised by multifunctional mixtures of surfactants and proteins called ranaspumins, which act together to give the required physical and biochemical stability. With regards to industrial foams, the article focuses on how various features of foams are exploited for different industrial applications. Stability of foams will be discussed, with the main focus on how the chemical nature and structure of surfactants, proteins and particles act together to produce long-lived stable foams. Additionally, foam destabilisation is considered, from the perspective of elucidation of the mechanisms of instability determined spectroscopically or by scattering methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-513
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date12 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Foam stability
  • Foam destabilisation
  • Natural foams
  • Man-made foams
  • Defoaming

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