Extensive support for operators
of anaerobic digesters.
Routine and specialized testing.
Biogas systems process consulting.

Anaerobic Digester Analysis & Consulting

Environmentally-sustainable practices are becoming a major priority across the globe, and many Canadian producers of biowaste are making the decision to operate anaerobic digesters for biogas production — including municipalities, private institutions, farmers, and industrial manufacturers. Converting waste into renewable energy offers an efficient and profitable option for operating these facilities in the long-term.

Despite its benefits, running an anaerobic digester requires a high level of technical proficiency. If you are currently operating (or thinking about operating) a biogas digester, then you may need support with testing, process development, or general troubleshooting.

At Integrated Explorations, our team offers combined expertise in microbiology, analytical chemistry, and environmental biotechnology — perfectly suited to supporting operators of anaerobic digesters. We provide routine and specialized testing, bench scale and pilot scale process simulations, and microbial population profiling.

In addition to our testing, we offer in-depth consulting services for operators of anaerobic digesters. Our team can assist with feedstock formulation, digester health, and customized digester configurations — see our Bioreactor & Digester Design page for details.

Biogas System Analysis

Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) Test

Biochemical methane potential (BMP) testing is used to analyse the biodegradability and biogas potential of your feedstock. The test is used to assess the feasibility of using a specific mix of materials in your anaerobic digester.

Anaerobic Toxicity Assay (ATA)

Toxic materials in your biowaste can cause imbalances in the digestion of anaerobic sludge and lead to digester failures. At Integrated Explorations, we offer several options for addressing the potential risks of toxic materials present in your feedstock.

Anaerobic toxicity assay (ATA) testing is used to determine how a given material will inhibit the production of methane (CH4). The test is used to predict the impacts of toxic compounds on biogas and methane production in an anaerobic digester.

Anaerobic Toxicity Screening (ATS)

Anaerobic toxicity screening (ATS) is a unique methodology, developed by the team at Integrated Explorations and similar to ATA testing. This method allows us to screen for potential toxic compounds in feedstock and minimize the risks to your digester. The main advantage of the ATS method is that it allows clients to reduce the costs of testing a large number of feedstock samples.

Mass Balance Analysis

When monitoring an anaerobic digester, it is important to account for all the material added or removed from a bioreactor. A mass balance analysis will apply the principle of the conservation of mass to a physical system — in this case, an anaerobic digester — to assess how materials entering the system, leaving the system, or remaining within the system will affect it as a whole.

Mass balance is used to monitor the bioprocessing and chemical equilibrium of your biogas digester. It is an important tool for figuring out what is accumulating in the digester that shouldn’t.

Bench Scale & Pilot Scale Testing

Bench Scale Testing – 10L Digesters

Bench scale testing is a small scale study (10L digesters) used to assess the suitability of organic materials for an anaerobic digester.

Pilot Scale Testing – 260L Digesters

Pilot scale testing is a preliminary study to evaluate the feasibility of specific feedstock for biogas production. Pilot scale testing goes into more depth than bench scale testing, in order to model the potential costs, yields, risks, and profitability prior to full operation.

Request a bench scale or pilot scale test for your feedstock.

Feedstock Characterization

Operators of biogas digesters can use a wide variety of biodegradable materials as feedstock. However, the biogas potential — or the biochemical methane potential (BMP) — of the feedstock will vary depending on the composition of the chosen materials, impacting the biogas yield.

At Integrated Explorations, we offer feedstock characterization services to help identify the chemical and microbial composition of your biogas materials and optimize the yield of your biogas digester. This feedstock characterization will assess the following:

  • Theoretical potential (TP)
  • Total solids (TS)
  • Total suspended solids (TSS)
  • Volatile solids (VS)
  • Volatile suspended solids (VSS)
  • Total dry solids (TDS)
  • Total nitrogen (TN)
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Alkalinity (pH)
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
  • Carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (C:N)
  • Total sulphur (TotS)
  • Proteins, fats, oils, and carbs
  • Macro and micronutrients
  • Organic and metallic contaminants

Anaerobic Digestate Analysis

Anaerobic digestion creates an end product called ‘digestate’, which will typically constitute 90-95% of the original feedstock mass. The anaerobic digestate makes an excellent natural fertilizer, with similar characteristics to compost.

At Integrated Explorations, we offer digestate analyses to assess the chemical and microbial composition of your anaerobic digestate and evaluate its effectiveness as fertilizer. This analysis will examine the following factors:

  • Fertilizer value (NPK)
  • Volatile fatty acids (VFA)
  • Alkalinity
  • Total solids and volatile solids content (TS/VS)
  • Microbiological pathogens
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
  • Total sulphur (TotS)
  • Heavy metals
  • Macro and micronutrient profiling

Request an analysis for your anaerobic digester today.

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