Biological monitoring of anaerobic digestion

The anaerobic digestion process is biological, which means that it is fragile and a balance must be maintained for it to function properly. Historically, anaerobic digestion is an industrial-scale version of what goes on in the stomach of a cow.

WESSLING analyses organic materials in a biogas plant bioreactor, as shown in this picture.

Biological monitoring and digestion indicators are essential to monitor an installation. Such indicators can take several forms and dimensions, but monitoring them makes it possible to identify deviations and anomalies.

Biological monitoring: what is analysed? 

In addition to dry matter content (DM) and pH, WESSLING will help you monitor your digestive performance by analysing the acid balance (FOS/TAC), carbon-nitrogen ratio (C/N) and VFA (volatile fatty acids) spectrum.

How often should biological monitoring be carried out?

Our experts recommend a monthly analysis for each digester to provide a regular update and establish benchmarks. 

When a feedstock is changed, we recommend weekly analyses, especially of the VFA spectrum. This analysis makes it possible to monitor assimilation of the feedstock and adaptation of the microbial flora to it.