Surfactants and foaming agents


Surfactants and foaming agents have a huge range of industrial uses, so it’s essential to find versatile and reliable wastewater purification solutions. Desotec simple and sustainable mobile water treatment services remove harmful molecules and ensure wastewater is fit for discharge or reuse.

Industrial wastewater purification

Surfactants and foaming agents are found mainly in detergents and cleaning products. They’re also used in lubricants, inks, anti-fogging liquids, herbicides, adhesives, emulsifiers, and fabric softeners. Therefore, a wide range of industrial sectors may produce wastewater containing surfactants, particularly from cleaning processes. Left untreated, these compounds have a very high visual impact. They create foaming and scum on the surface of waterways, most commonly spotted around sewage outlets. Prompt and effective treatment is essential to avoid complaints from the public and action from the environmental authorities. Desotec’s mobile activated carbon filters successfully remove surfactants and foaming agents. They may be placed after your on-site biofilter as a polishing step, ensuring your industrial wastewater is pure enough for discharge into our natural environment. Where concentrations are too high to be handled by a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), our solutions act as a pre-treatment.  

COD, POPs, and our environment

As well as being unsightly, surfactants must be removed to protect aquatic life and human health. Anionic surfactants such as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) decrease the surface tension of water and increase the solubility of other pollutants. Previously, some surfactants contained persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as poly- and perfluoroalkyls (PFAS), which are toxic and bioaccumulative. They are now heavily controlled to avoid degrading bacteria and harming fish as well as protecting the human food chain. It’s also important to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) in wastewater to keep waterways aerated and thriving. Desotec has simple and sustainable solutions. Our activated carbon filters for wastewater work as complete treatments or in combination with other technologies to reduce such compounds to below detectable levels. As they are mobile and delivered rapidly, Desotec filters are also well suited to temporary or emergency situations as well as to long-term usage.

Water reuse after surfactant removal

Adsorption is recognised as the simplest yet most effective solution for removing surfactants and foaming agents. Desotec’s activated carbon filters adsorb them effectively, making wastewater safe for discharge to WWTPs or potentially even directly to waterways. This saves your firm the cost of specialist disposal. Alternatively, your company might reuse its treated wastewater, improving the circularity of your industrial processes and helping you reach your green goals.

It’s vital that industry takes wastewater purification action to protect aquatic ecosystems and human health. With Desotec’s mobile sustainable filters, it’s simple to remove surfactants and foaming agents from wastewater, helping you keep waterways clean and flourishing.

Helping you comply

Regulations vary according to country and region, with central EU regulations forming a backstop. Legislation is becoming increasingly restrictive, so it’s vital to future proof your firm today. Desotec’s mobile water treatment filters are modular, making it simple to adapt set-ups to changing regulations and purification requirements.

How we help you

Desotec’s sustainable mobile filtration solutions

Firms which use surfactants and foaming agents need partners they can trust. Desotec is ready to help. Our activated carbon filters for wastewater handle a wide range of flow rates, components, and concentrations, and our engineers offer round-the-clock support. Filters are supplied on a rental basis, minimising capex costs. It’s easy to add or remove filters to meet changing production needs or stricter legislations. As part of our full-service solution, we remove all filtration waste in closed filters away from your sites and destroy adsorbed molecules in our furnaces. Carbon is reactivated wherever possible, making this a cost-effective and sustainable solution.

Desotec filters have been very effective in purifying our wastewater. Thanks to this simple but effective set-up, we’re now in compliance with environmental limits.

Our filtration solutions

Flexible, mobile solutions configured to meet your industrial purification needs. With sustainable waste management included, it’s easy to reach your green goals.

View our filtration solutions