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Triple Line whips up a storm with eco-friendly microfoam





Triple Line Technology has launched the world’s first eco-friendly compressed gas syphon for tasks such as whipping cream and foaming milk.

The innovative Cambridge start-up’s patented technology, the TLT-Foamer, was developed to allow high quality microfoam to be generated from single use and refillable aerosols using sustainable compressed gas propellants (air, nitrogen).

Mark Nicmanis of Triple Line Technology an innovative Cambridge start-up which has created the world’s first eco-friendly compressed gas siphon for tasks such as whipping cream and foaming milk. Picture: Keith Heppell
Mark Nicmanis of Triple Line Technology an innovative Cambridge start-up which has created the world’s first eco-friendly compressed gas siphon for tasks such as whipping cream and foaming milk. Picture: Keith Heppell

The innovative approach of the TLT-Foamer technology involves exploiting a novel bubble break-up mechanism by passing a mixture of compressed air (or nitrogen) and a foamable liquid (eg cream or milk) through a series of alternating shear fields. It generates microfoams with tiny bubbles less than 100 microns in diameter – particularly suitable for the whipped cream and foamed milk used in many coffee drinks, desserts and cocktails.

The innovation sidelines the nitrous oxide (N2O) traditionally used as a propellant and foaming agent in food and drink single-use aerosol cans and refillable syphons and replaces it with sustainable compressed air or nitrogen.

N2O is a potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential nearly 300 times that of carbon dioxide – and it typically stays in the atmosphere for more than 100 years before disintegrating. The gas in each 8g can or canister of N2O has a carbon footprint equivalent to 2.4kg of CO2 – the same as the emissions from driving an SUV for 10 miles. N2O is also materials and energy intensive to manufacture.

Triple Line Technology has launched its TLT-Foamer technology
Triple Line Technology has launched its TLT-Foamer technology

“Removal of the N2O propellant would be hugely beneficial to achieving net-zero targets,” said Mark Nicmanis, co-founder of Triple Line Technology. “However, simply swapping N2O for another propellant gas for food and drink products is not that simple. Toxicity, flammability, cost and poor product outcomes limit or prohibit the use of many propellant gases widely used in non-food aerosol applications.

“That’s why we have developed our proprietary compressed gas syphon. It can be charged with compressed air or nitrogen, which are both food safe, not greenhouse gases – and do not contribute to other environmental or health issues, such as poor air quality.

Triple Line Technology TLT-Foamer technology and co-founder and CEO, Mark Nicmanis Pictures: Keith Heppell
Triple Line Technology TLT-Foamer technology and co-founder and CEO, Mark Nicmanis Pictures: Keith Heppell

“Air and nitrogen are not manufactured gases or based on petrochemical feedstocks. They are circular in use – taken from and returned to the atmosphere.”

Although the TLT-Foamer technology has been developed to meet the needs of the food and drink industry, it could also offer an alternative to single-use foam aerosols in other retail and industrial sectors, such as hair and beauty applications or cleaning products – helping to replace propellants based on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as N20, with sustainable compressed gases.

Through their unique material properties, liquid and setting microfoams are an essential part of daily life, from shaving foams to whipped desserts, beer heads to carpet cleaners. Microfoams also act as thermal and acoustic insulators, shock absorbers, efficient methods of metering doses, and provide indulgent sensory experiences. Its potential extends to medical applications (eg wound healing, anti-fungal products).

Triple Line Technology was incorporated in 2016 by co-founders Mark – who has a background in Chemical Engineering, and an MBA from Cambridge – and Michelle Gothard, who has a background in Physical Chemistry and Materials Science and leads a business strategy group advising global clients on innovation processes, emerging technologies, and IP mapping.



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