Increase in Alkalinity

With increasing alkalinity, sludge becomes more surface active and has an increasing propensity to foam. Operational conditions that result in an increase in alkalinity include the following:

• Increased alkalinity loading (ionized ammonia, amino acids, proteins, and cationic polyacrylamide polymers) in the digester feed sludge

• Death and lysis of large numbers of bacteria, especially Nocardioforms, resulting in the release of numerous biosurfactants

• Decrease in the destruction of alkalinity within the anaerobic digester (e.g., decrease fatty acid production)

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