Woods End Laboratories

Healthy Soil

Healthy Science

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Biogas Methane Potential

biogas potential

Eudiometers in the lab provide controlled digestion of any biomass to reveal total biogas and methane quality. Results are possible within 21 days.

Careful measurements of the biogas methane potential called “BMP” of organic wastes can aid farmers and engineers in designing and scaling biogas facilities. Woods End lab maintains active cultures of methane-producing bacteria in state-of-art mini-digesters. These are used to conduct short and longer term studies to estimate real-world potential of methane under a controlled settings.  The quality of the BMP test run provides useful information for several levels of decision.

The composition of the byproducts may affect the rate and VFA production, and ultimately the daily deeding (load) capacity of a facility. In-process tests such as VFA:IC titration reveal the balance of carbonate buffering versus organic acid production. These qualities can be precisely measured and applied to solve design and performance issues and even predict potential crashes (or explain existing anomalies).

The Bio-Laboratory at Woods End: A well-equipped biolaboratory to perform screening of materials, routine biogas-production runs (lab and pilot scale), gas quality analysis, and digestate stability and end-use tests. The staff are actively involved in a variety of pilot scale trials nationwide. Woods End is experienced in comparing liquid and “dry-fermentation” systems for manures, food scraps, energy crops, silage, DDGS and other “green by-products”. Each test of a material results in a chart showing energy traits and a comparison to hundreds of other materials previously analysed.

Lab CharacterizationHistorical Data

  • BMP – Biomethane PotentialBiogas Potential: biogas cu.ft./ton
  • Methane Quality: CH4 + CO2 + H2S
  • Mix recipes: effects of hydrolysis
  • Buffering: pH, free carbonates
  • Digestate quality: end-products
  • Nutrients: Agricultural utilization
  • Comparison to all other facility samples


The Biogas Test Suite

  • Initial Bioenergy-waste characterization: inc. TS, VS, TN, pH
  • Standardized Biogas GB21 (ÖNORM)§ test: 21-day BMP in pilot reactors;
  • FVA/IC titration for buffer quality
  • Gas Chromatography of CH4 and CO2 and H2S
  • Biogas Recipe development

§ ÖNORM S 2027-3. Stabilitätsparameter zur Beurteilung von mechanisch-biologisch
vorbehandelten Abfällen: Gasbildung im Gärtest (GB21) ( Standard BMP Method).
Other Methods:
– ISO 13641-2:2003 Water quality – Determination of inhibition of gas production of anaerobic bacteria.
– ASTM D5526 Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Accelerated Landfill Conditions

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