Use of Guar Gum as Defoamer, Synthetic Polymer & Surfactant

Guar gum is extracted from guar beans and is a galactomannan polysaccharide. It is also known as guaran and has thickening and stabilizing properties making it felicitous for food, feed, and industrial applications. Guar beans are principally grown in India, Pakistan, U.S.A, Australia, and Africa with India contributing almost 80% of the world production.

The Guar gum due to its properties has wide industrial applications in Textile industry, Paper industry, Explosives industry, Pharmaceutical industry, Cosmetics and toiletries industries, Hydraulic fracturing, Shale oil and gas extraction industries, etc.

Summary: Guar gum is extracted from guar beans which are principally grown in India, Pakistan, U.S.A, Australia, and Africa. They have wide application in various industry, such as- Textile, Paper, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic, etc. India is the major contributor of guar gum, yielding almost 80% of world production.

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Guar Gum as Defoamer:
Guar Gum, due to its low viscosity characteristic and ability to spread rapidly on foamy surfaces, is extensively used as a defoamer. Also known as an anti-foaming agent, a defoamer is a chemical additive which reduces or hinders the formation of foam in industrial process liquids. They are employed as an additive to prevent the formation of any foam. They are also used to break already formed foams. There are various types of defoamers, namely- Oil based defoamers, Powder defoamers, Water based defoamers, Silicone based defoamers, EO/PO based defoamers, and Alkyl polyacrylates.

Guar Gum as Synthetic Polymer:
Synthetic polymers are basically the human-made polymers. There are 4 types of synthetic polymer- Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, and Synthetic Fibers. It finds a lot of application, such as- film wrap, plastic bags, pipes, electrical insulation bottles, etc. For biomedical applications, Synthetic polymers are preferred over natural polymers as natural polymers are difficult to separate from protein and other materials which can cause an allergic reaction.

The polymers made from Guar gum comes as an alternative for non-biodegradable synthetic polymers as they create a lot of environmental issues. These polymers, since being made from biodegradable materials do not pose any pollution threats and also have a long life.

Guar Gum as Surfactant:
Guar gum, as a surfactant, is used extensively in cosmetics as it reduces surface tension. In shampoos, it acts as a surfactant to thin the tension making the vanishing of dust easier from hair. They create a froth or bubbles, which traps the dirt and stops it from getting resettled in hair.

Usually, the surfactants have both- Hydrophilic and Oleophilic segments. The hydrophilic segment gets active in water whereas the oleophilic segment has a strong affinity for oils. Surfactants, on the basis of their ionic properties, are classified into amphoteric, cationic, anionic, and nonionic. Since guar gum is cationic, it is deemed suitable for making ointments & skin lotion.

Summary: Guar gum is widely used as Defoamer, Synthetic Polymer, and Surfactant due to its structural properties. Their ability of rapid spreading on a foamy surface make them ideal defoamers. They are also used as synthetic polymer providing a biodegradable alternative. Guar gum reduces the surface tension and hence are used as surfactants.

The Bottom line: The structure of Guar gum imparts numerous advantages and properties, making it suitable to be used for a wide variety of applications serving different industries. It is largely preferred for being used as Defoamer, Synthetic polymer, and surfactant.

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