Feasability – Anaerobic digestion process

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

When little information is known on the suitability of the substrates for anaerobic digestion, 2 important tests are available to evaluate if a substrate or a mixture of substrates can sustain stable fermentation.

Biogas Production Potential (BPP) test

Determines the maximum amount of biogas that can be produced from a given feedstock. The feedstock is incubated at 52°C (thermophilic) or 37°C (mesophilic) and is left to ferment batch wise. The volume of the biogas produced is measured and the amount of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) determined. This test provides a first estimation of a substrate’s potential for anaerobic digestion.

Lab-scale continuous fermentation test

Mimics full-scale fermentation of a single substrate or a combination of substrates. The test allows to optimize the digestion process on a long-term (input recipe, biogas productivity, organic loading rate, digestion temperature, toxicity, nutrient requirements,…) and provides the necessary info to go to a full-scale plant, eliminating the need for a more expensive pilot-scale testing. Testing can be performed at small scale (6L) and medium scale (60L).

BPP-test (1)


BPP-test (2)

About OWS

About OWS

OWS is a world leading company in the biodegradability and compostability testing of products and materials, and in waste management consultancy.