Engineering: Help It Foam

Ever since housewives started dunking the family's dirty clothes and dishes in synthetic detergents, the nation's sewers have been swamped by an expanding flow of foam. Down the drainpipe, on through the sewage-disposal plant, the synthetic cleaners keep right on bubbling until contaminated rivers froth like lager beer. No matter what tricks they have tried, sanitary engineers have had small success in keeping the troublesome bubbles down. Egyptian-born Chemical Engineer Ibrahim Abdulla Eldib now insists that the best solution is to help the stuff foam.

A longtime student of the detergent dilemma—first at the Esso Research & Engineering Co. and...

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