Several reasons can lead to the emergence of foam in digesting tanks, for instance overloading or the impact of hydrophobic substances. Furthermore, the foaming is in regular periods going together with the emergence of filamentous microorganisms. Up to now, several strategies to avoid foaming have been tested out (for instance reduction of the sludge load in the activated sludge stage, lowering of the sludge level in the digestion tank, dosage of anti foaming agents), but these have been done relatively unsystematically and with more or less success. For our contribution, laboratory-scale digestion tests were run to analyse mechanical and thermal pre-treatment methods for the destruction of the surplus sludge. Whereas the disintegration by a high pressure homogeniser did only achieve a low reduction of the foam phase, the thermal pre-treatment at 121°C made for an effective subduing of the foam emergence. Both methods allowed for a cutting up of the filaments, but only the heating up effected the reduction of the hydrophobic substances; thus, the foaming is possibly caused by them.

You do not currently have access to this content.