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Laboratory-scale investigation of foaming in anaerobic digesters

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A test was conducted to induce foaming by varying the waste activated sludge (WAS) content in the feed sludge at increasingly higher organic loading rates and shorter detention times. Foam was produced; however, it differed physically and chemically from foam observed in full-scale digesters. It was thickest in test digesters receiving feed sludge with a high primary sludge and low WAS content. A n unsuccessful attempt was made to quantify, measure, or predict foaming by measuring surface tension in digesting sludge and measuring foam height and stability using foam generation techniques. Limited testing of defoamant chemicals showed no difference in foam height between a control foaming digester and a foaming test digester treated with 500 and 1000 µg/L of defoamant.

Keywords: anaerobic; analysis; control; digesters; foaming

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/WER.64.2.9

Publication date: March 1, 1992

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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