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Differences between fluorinated and fluorine-free foams

Both are synthetic firefighting foams for class A and B fires.

First of all, the firefighting foam you choose should meet your site-specific needs, in terms of risks, existing foam equipment…

Secondly, you can balance environmental considerations and fire safety. You need to choose to fight fires preserving health and environment with Fluorine-Free Foam or to suppress fire with fluorinated foams which can have impact on environment and health.

Over the years, fluorosurfactants have been used as key components of fluorinated fire-fighting foams for flammables liquid fires such as oil and gasoline. Regarding emerging issues, some chemical fluorinated components (PFOS and PFOA) are recognised as persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic substances (PBT). They have been described as “forever chemicals” meaning they stay permanently in the environment and contaminate drinking water. Those fluorinated compounds can also bioaccumulate within humans, aquatic species and vegetation.

BIOEX firefighting foams ensure that its foams do not contain PFOS (Perfluorooctyl Sulfonate, also known as C8) and PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid). Since 2006, their use has been restricted all over the world. The Stockholm Convention listed PFOS and its related substances as persistent organic pollutants (POP). A further restriction on the use of PFOA and its related substances was also adopted in 2017 by the European Commission, under REACH.

The balance between fire safety and environmental considerations has now moved to the point where for the vast majority of fires AFFF and PFASs are no longer required to provide adequate fire protection. Fluorine-Free Foam is now a viable alternative which also achieves high performing fire protection.

BIOEX offers both high performance C6 fluorinated latest generation and fluorine-free firefighting foam solutions.

Our slogan is:

High performance foams: OUR COMMITMENT

Preserve the environment: YOUR CHOICE

Fluorinated foam concentrates





Synthethic fluorinated foams (AFFF and AR-AFFF) typically contain 4 key components:

  • Hydrocarbon surfactants: reducing the surface tension of the foam solution and creating foam
  • Fluorosurfactants: responsible of the film forming foam
  • Glycols: viscosity level controller, freezing point retardant, foaming property booster
  • Foam stabilizers: adjusting drainage time and burnback resistance
  • Polymer: Alcohol-Resistant component (only for AR capability)

Synthetic fluorine-based foams are commonly used in firefighting due to their performance boosted effects. The foam blanket forms an aqueous film which lower surface tension and quickly flow above the fuel surface. It blocks oxygen supply and suppress fuel vapours. The foam blanket has a cooling effect to control the fire rapidly and prevent from burnback. AR-AFFF foams (also called AFFF-ARC foams) forms a polymer membrane to prevent foam blanket destruction by the fuels.


Free of PFOS and PFOA, BIOEX AFFF and AR-AFFF high efficient foams are produced with modern short-chain C6 fluorosurfactants, considered safer and have less impact on environment.

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Fluorine free foam concentrate helicopter





Synthetic Fluorine-Free Foams (FFF, also known as F3) are composed of:

  • Hydrocarbon surfactants: reducing the surface tension of the foam solution and creating foam
  • Glycol : viscosity level controller, freezing point retardant, foaming property booster
  • Polymer: Alcohol-Resistant component (only for AR capability)

Fluorine-Free Foams are totally biodegradable.


Amount of bubbles create a stable foam blanket which spread rapidly above the fuel surface. It supresses oxygen supply resulting in quick fire suppression and has a cooling effect preventing from reignition.


In 2002, BIOEX launched the first Fluorine-Free Foam in the market. BIOEX high quality Fluorine-Free Foams (F3) proved their performance on class A and class B fires in terms of duration of extinguishment and burnback resistance. They achieved equal or best performance as fluorinated foams, according to international standards ratings. BIOEX non-fluorinated foam is also GreenScreen certified, attesting the foam is totally free of PFAS.

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