How much gas can you produce? Take the biochemical methane potential test.

How much gas can you produce? No, not personally. We’re talking about the potential to produce biogas, a valuable energy source, from a waste or substrate.

Process Flow Diagram: Serum bottles containing biomass, Serum bottles in incubator, Incubator, Biogas Sampling

Process Flow Diagram
Serum bottles containing biomass, Serum bottles in incubator, Incubator, Biogas Sampling

This determination can be made using a simple and inexpensive procedure to check relative anaerobic activity and biodegradability:  the Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) test. A laboratory evaluation can provide information concerning the rate at which microorganisms convert wastewater into biogas and the quality (percent CH4) of the biogas.

The BMP test is a relatively rapid and accurate method for assessing the biogas (methane or CH4) production potential of your substrate.  This information is invaluable when assessing the viability of anaerobic treatment, sizing of biogas handling equipment, and determining energy production capabilities.

The test is performed with several serum bottles containing anaerobic biomass, the substrate in question, nutrients, and alkalinity in different quantities. The bottles are kept heated and mixed. Total biogas production is then measured from the samples over a period of several weeks. Results from the BMP test include the following:

  • Biogas production rate (L biogas per g COD removed)
  • Percent methane content
  • Percent carbon dioxide content
  • COD removal rate (g COD per g VSS per day)

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