Production Chemicals: Silicone Foam Control Agent Case History

Momentive Performance Materials offers silicone products that act as foam control agents and demulsifiers. These silicone-based products offer significant performance benefits in the production, transportation, and refining of oil and gas.

In gas/oil separators, Momentive’s specialty antifoams offer excellent foam control and deairation. This may result in increased productivity and boost the demulsifier performance, while at the same time reduce the silicon metal loading in the crude – thus significantly reducing the impact on refining catalysts.

Silbreak* silicone demulsifiers are not intended to replace organic demulsifiers, but rather, to act as boosters to organic demulsifier formulations. At low concentrations, they may improve the clarity of the water, improve interface, reduce BS&W or reduce the temperature of demulsification.

Case Study in the Middle East

Silbreak 638 silicone demulsifiers performed well at a crude oil dehydration station in the Middle East.


Incoming fluid in an on-shore processing facility in the Middle East needed to be heated up before further processing. Severe foaming was detected in the settling tank. Despite dosing high levels of a solution of a PDMS oil in an aromatic solvent, the foam was not effectively eliminated and caused cavitation in the booster pump.



A dilution of Silbreak 638 silicone foam control agent and demulsifier in an aromatic solvent was initially co-injected with the PDMS. Then, over a short period of time, the PDMS rate was decreased and the Silbreak 638 silicone demulsifier was allowed to take control on its own. The dosage was optimized over a period of a few hours. Excellent process control was achieved at 3x lower dosage than the original PDMS material.


The trial validated the following potential benefits from the use of Silbreak 638 silicone demulsifier in crude oil processing:

Momentive Performance Materials with its Silbreak 638 silicone foam control agent offer effective solutions to challenging conditions both onshore and offshore. All silicone products are available globally and supported by decades of technical and application experience. For more information on Silbreak silicone demulsifiers and additional silicone products, visit


*Silbreak is a trademark of Momentive Performance Materials Inc.