Analytical Procedures for Monitoring Farm-based Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Systems

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We have developed four protocols of analytical procedures for the monitoring of farm-based anaerobic digestion (AD) systems. The use of either protocol will depend on the scopes and lab resources of the facility, and the time availability of the system operator.

Protocol I is the most basic and simple version of the analytical procedures, designed to evaluate the performance of manure-only AD systems. This protocol includes the analyses of total solids (TS) and total volatile solids (VS) in the influent and the effluent of the digester, for the evaluation of waste treatment efficiency of the system.

Protocol II is the upper level of protocol I, intended to monitor the stability of on-farm AD systems with a higher level of complexity; for example, systems co-digesting a single, low-strength co-substrate in its operation, such as whey products, in a systematic or intermittent basis. This protocol includes the analyses of total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) and total alkalinity (TA) for the determination of the TVFA:TA (or FOS:TAC) ratio, and includes the measurements of methane content, pH and temperature. Protocol II requires a more complex laboratory setup and analysis time than Protocol I.

Protocol III is a more comprehensive version of protocol II, developed to monitor the stability of on-farm AD systems that co-digest one or more off-farm, high-strength substrates in a continuous basis, particularly for operations receiving protein-rich substrates. Protocol III includes all the analyses of Protocol II in addition to total ammonianitrogen (TAN). Protocol III requires virtually the same laboratory setup and analysis time as Protocol II.

Protocol IV is the most advanced version of the protocol, developed for the monitoring of both performance and stability of on-farm anaerobic digesters with the same characteristics as those described in Protocol III. Protocol IV combines all the analyses included in Protocol I and III, and thereby requires a full laboratory setup and a longer analysis time.

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Anaerobic Digestion; standard; Biogas


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