Effect of operating conditions and reactor configuration on efficiency of full-scale biogas plants

Irini Angelidaki, Kanokwan Boe, L. Ellegaard

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A study on 18 full-scale centralized biogas plants was carried out in order to find significant operational factors influencing productivity and stability of the plants. It was found that the most plants were operating relatively stable with volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration below 1.5 g/l. VFA concentration increase was observed in occasions with dramatic overloading or other disturbances such as operational temperature changes. Ammonia was found to be a significant factor for stability. A correlation between increased residual biogas production and high ammonia was found. When ammonia was higher than approx. 4 g-N/l the degradation efficiency of the plant decreased and as a consequence, the residual methane potential was high. Decrease of the residual methane potential with increasing hydraulic retention time was found. Digestion temperature was very important for effective post-digestion. Post-digestion for recovering the residual methane potential at temperatures below 15 degrees C was very inefficient.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)189-194
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event10th IWA International Congress on Anaerobic Digestion - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 29 Aug 20042 Sep 2004
Conference number: 10


Conference10th IWA International Congress on Anaerobic Digestion


  • biogas plants
  • anaerobic
  • residual biogas production
  • mesophilic
  • thermophilic

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