Foaming is one of the major problems that occasionally occur in biogas plants, affecting negatively the overall digestion process. In the present study, the effect of organic loading rate (OLR) and feedstock composition on foaming was elucidated in continuous reactor experiments. By stepwise increasing the OLR and the concentration of proteins or lipids in the substrate, foaming in biogas reactors was investigated. No foam formation was observed at the OLR of 3.5. g volatile solids/(L-reactor·day). Organic loading was the main factor affecting foam formation in manure digester, while the organic composition, such as content of proteins or lipids were factors that in combination with the organic loading were triggering foaming. More specifically, gelatine could initiate foam formation at a lower OLR than sodium oleate. Moreover, the volume of foam produced by gelatine was relatively stable and was not increased when further increasing either OLR or gelatine concentration in the feed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Runway foaming