Exclusive: Flourine Free Foam Solutions from Fomtec


Share this content


John Olav Ottesen, CEO and founder of firefighting foam developer and manufacturer Fomtec, talks foam, fluorine and INTERSCHUTZ 2022

In 2001 I founded Dafo Fomtec AB with the goal of producing and supplying high quality firefighting foam agents and associated foam hardware. 21 years on our main manufacturing location remains in Helsingborg, Sweden. I have a small dedicated team of industry professionals as we maintain our strong customer focus and I am proud to say that we supply our products to over 65 countries around the world. Fomtec will again be exhibiting at Interschutz 2022 and we are looking forward to welcoming our existing customers and potential new clients to Stand C17, in Hall 13.

Why use foam?

Since humans started to use liquid hydrocarbons as an energy source we have strived to find a more effective extinguishing agent than water. Whilst other agents such as water, dry chemical powder and gaseous agents are also effective with liquid hydrocarbon fuel fires, foam adds the additional life safety factor of providing a foam ‘blanket’ that prevents vapour escaping thereby preventing re-ignition post extinguishment. The water draining from the foam also has a cooling effect on the fuel and surrounding structure, aiding the extinguishment process.  Compared to DCP and gaseous, agents foam is also relatively inexpensive.

Offering high performance foam concentrates and tested systems of hardware with foam are critical for our clients to be truly protected. Performance extends to Fomtec manufacturing and delivering our products when we promise we will and in our current fiscal year we have achieved a better than 95% on-time delivery.

Trust is closely linked to performance and Fomtec invests heavily in fire performance testing and then having our products approved through independent third parties to the appropriate international standards. We also make our approval data readily available to all who visit our website, and Fomtec remains one of the few foam manufacturers who do this.

With the transition away from PFAS based foams based on the environmental impact of the PFAS chemicals, it is vital that sustainability is part of our business. Starting with the selection of raw materials and the evaluation of all our suppliers, through to the treatment of water used in our facility, through to the evaluation of travel needs for supporting the business.


At the last Interschutz in 2015 all the talk in the firefighting foam world was about the transition to shorter chain C6 PFAS containing foam, and now 7 short years later those discussions will now be about the transition away from these foams to fluorine free foams. This transition is not being driven by the foam manufacturers and it is certainly not because the new fluorine free foams outperform the fluorinated foams. Nor is it because the fluorine free foams are lower cost that their fluorinated alternatives. The transition away from fluorinated foams is entirely due to environmental restrictions and legislation in relation to a family of chemicals know as PFAS.

In the last 20 years we have seen the PFAS chemicals PFOS and PFOA, which were used in fluorinated foams, declared Persistent Organic Pollutants and use of foams containing these chemicals are banned or are restricted with defined periods to stop using the foams. As stated above in 2015 all foam manufacturers were talking about their new C6 foams at Interschutz, but the PFAS chemicals in these foams are now scheduled for restriction and eventually will no longer allowed to be used.

The Enviro Programme

There is no doubt that the addition of the fluorine-based chemicals in firefighting foams played an important part in their performance. As we always like to point out fluorine free foam agents have been around for many years including protein foams, as well as many Class A and synthetic detergent foams. Developing high performance Class B fluorine free foams is a challenge and since 2014 nearly all of Fomtec’s research and development money has been invested in the Enviro Programme.

This is the name that Fomtec gave to the project to develop high performance Class B fluorine free foams. Fomtec quickly realized that expansion ratio, drain time and bubble structure are even more important with fluorine free foam agents, and achieving positive results against fires means that the foam agents need to the tested and approved with the associated foam hardware to ensure that the finished foam has foam qualities that match those that were used to successfully meet the requirements of UL 162 and FM 5130.

At Interschutz 2022 we will be promoting our range of Synthetic Fluorine Free Foams (SFFF), which are marketed under the Enviro (by Fomtec) brand name. The Enviro by Fomtec range is a range of foam concentrates which are a direct result of Fomtec determining that foams needed to be designed and formulated for the different firefighting missions. Extensive research and development, including more than 1500 fire performance tests, has led to Fomtec offering a range of Enviro branded products. These products are supported by international approvals within relevant sectors: industrial (UL/FM), marine (IMO), aviation (ICAO), military (US Mil Spec), emergency response (EN/UL) and wildland (US Forest service).

In May 2021 Enviro USP and Enviro ARK achieved FM approval for use with non-aspirated sprinklers, with Enviro ARK being the first SFFF to achieve this approval for use on polar solvent fuels. Enviro USP and Enviro ARK have class leading FM approvals with non-aspirated sprinklers from 6’ (1.8m) up to 45’ (14m).

Fomtec has always held the belief that decisions should be based on information. These independent approvals mean that the information Fomtec supplies can be considered as solid data and not just an opinion. For many end-users making the transition from PFAS containing foams this data provides peace of mind that they can make this transition without compromising the safety of their personnel or increasing the risk to their facility or business.

Fomtec will also exhibit and have information available on our foam solutions for multiple applications based on our C6 PFAS containing foams and foam hardware. After the extended period between the shows the Fomtec team look forward to welcoming our existing customers and all who want more information on the Enviro range, or other Fomtec solutions.

This article was originally published in the June edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox