For much of the history of industrial firefighting, aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) have been used to effectively suppress fires from flammable liquids stored in depth (also known as class B fires). Historically the surfactants that made these foams so effective were comprised of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, a.k.a. PFAS or the “forever chemicals”. Unfortunately, research in the last 15-20 years has shown that these substances accumulate in mammals and have been linked to a variety of negative health effects. In light of the issue, new foam compounds have been formulated to retrofit legacy fixed and portable firefighting systems, which by some estimates contribute approximately 5% of all PFAS environmental contamination.
Neptune Fire Protection Engineering assists clients in these retrofit processes, which often require specialized fire protection design and application knowledge, because some alternate technologies like fluorine free foams (FFF) require higher application rates in suppression systems than traditional PFAS foam, often necessitating system retrofits and modification. At Neptune, we work with each client’s individual situation to both educate them on the issue and to guide them in selecting the optimal solution for each PFAS foam retrofit based on their unique regulatory structure, risk tolerance, and budgetary constraints.
Neptune has the unique insight of not only having designed many foam suppression systems in a wide variety of applications such as aircraft hangars, fuel terminals, and industrial plants, but also having participated in the latest cutting-edge fire testing of new fluorine free foam technologies that can serve as substitutes for legacy PFAS firefighting foams.