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Biogas-Potential Assay

Biogas-Potential Assay

A precursor study designed to determine if further development studies are warranted by examining the physical characteristics of the digestate. 
"Michigan State University’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering developed an anaerobic laboratory assay designed to determine if further development studies are warranted. This test, conducted in a laboratory, examines the physical characteristics of the manure (COD, % solids, pH, and other important characteristics) both before and after digestion, and biogas production in a simulated digester. An anaerobic respirometer consisting of closed vessels connected to an automated gas measuring system is used for the assay. Above is a photograph of the laboratory anaerobic respirometers used for biogas determination. These tests are advantageous because they require very little manure (less than 5 gallons), take relatively little time (about a month), are inexpensive, and are easily customized to different mixtures of manure and other agricultural residuals. However, it should be noted that this is only a preliminary test and that the decision to implement an anaerobic digester should not be made based on this test alone. In fact, if this initial test is favorable towards anaerobic digestion, larger pilot-scale studies should be considered (Safferman, 2008)."
Safferman, S., Favior, L. 2008. Anaerobic Digestion Biogas-potential Assay. Michigan Dairy Review 13.4.


Corporate Activities

Providing analytical services to determine feasibility and efficiency for turning waste into resources via anaerobic digestion.  Many companies are turning to anaerobic digestion as a environmentally friendly way to treat and handle their waste products while providing a source of green energy. ADREC has the ability to assess a company’s potential to convert their waste products into resources. This analysis can range from theoretical mathematical models of the organic waste material all the way up to a full scale system operating at 250,000 gallon total volume. Performing an analysis prior to construction of an anaerobic digester can save invaluable time and money by ensuring the real world numbers will correlate with the theoretical values.
To begin an analysis, a sample of the waste will need to be shipped to ADREC to begin the screening assay process (biogas-potential assay). The general guidelines for shipping samples are as follows:
  • ADREC should be notified prior to shipping to coordinate shipment dates
  • Total sample size of 1 to 2 liters is required
  • Once collected, samples should be immediately chilled to 4oC and shipped to ADREC under chilled conditions
  • Samples should be accompanied by a chain of custody (COC) form

 Pilot Scale Digesters

Pilot Scale Digesters

To better understand the feasibility of an anaerobic digester system for a given organic material. These small scale digesters, ranging from 3L to 300L total volume, are designed to study the anaerobic digestion performance of an organic material under real world scenarios. Compared to a biogas-potential assay, a pilot scale digester allows the mechanics of a real world digester to be emulated. Particle sizes of the inffluent are representative of the actual organic matter intended to be used in the system. Another aspect of a pilot scale digesters is the ability to operate the digester in a semi-conitinous operation. This enables our experiments to have inputs and outputs within the digester system, mimicking the characteristics of a full scale digester.


Anaerobic Digestion Biogas Monitoring

Analysis for biogas quality for an anaerobic digester operation. ADREC provides a quarterly service to analyze biogas quality for anaerobic digester operations. A report of the various constituents for the biogas will be provided including the percent composition of methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. ADREC's biogas monitoring is a cheap and easy solution for the carbon aggregation process as well.

Fee Schedule

Click here for the complete ADREC fee schedule. (PDF)

Contact Information and Shipping Address


For more information contact:

Dana Kirk, Ph.D., P.E.
Phone: 517.432.6530

Samples should be shipped to:

Michigan State University
Attn: Dana Kirk/Louis Faivor
4090 College Rd
Lansing, MI 48910
Samples should be shipped using FedEx or UPS.