Antifoaming effect of chemical compounds in manure biogas reactors

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A precise and efficient antifoaming control strategy in bioprocesses is a challenging task as foaming is a very complex phenomenon. Nevertheless, foam control is necessary, as foam is a major operational problem in biogas reactors. In the present study, the effect of 14 chemical compounds on foam reduction was evaluated at concentration of 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.5% v/vsample, in raw and digested manure. Moreover, two antifoam injection methods were compared for foam reduction efficiency. Natural oils (rapeseed and sunflower oil), fatty acids (oleic, octanoic and derivative of natural fatty acids), siloxanes (polydimethylsiloxane) and ester (tributylphosphate) were found to be the most efficient compounds to suppress foam. The efficiency of antifoamers was dependant on their physicochemical properties and greatly correlated to their chemical characteristics for dissolving foam. The antifoamers were more efficient in reducing foam when added directly into the liquid phase rather than added in the headspace of the reactor.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)6280-6288
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Antifoaming agents
  • Foam reduction efficiency
  • Anaerobic digestion foaming
  • Cattle manure
  • Biogas

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