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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Development and Validation of a Low-Cost Gas Density Method for Measuring Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP)

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Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Finlandsgade 12, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
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Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
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Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Chemistry, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Am Coulombwall 3, 85748 Garching, Germany
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Biochemical Conversion Department, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Straße 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
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Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2431; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122431
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 17 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
Accurate determination of biochemical methane potential (BMP) is important for both biogas research and practice. However, access to laboratory equipment limits the capacity of small laboratories or biogas plants to conduct reliable BMP assays, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This paper describes the development and validation of a new gas density-based method for measuring BMP (GD-BMP). In the GD-BMP method, biogas composition is determined from biogas density. Biogas density is based on bottle mass loss and biogas volume, and these can be accurately measured using only a standard laboratory scale, inexpensive syringes, and a simple manometer. Results from four experiments carried out in three different laboratories showed that the GD-BMP method is both accurate (no significant bias compared to gravimetric or volumetric methods with biogas analysis by gas chromatography) and precise (<3% relative standard deviation is possible). BMP values from the GD-BMP method were also comparable to those measured for the same substrates with an industry standard automated system (AMPTS II) in two independent laboratories (maximum difference 10%). Additionally, the GD-BMP method was shown to be accurate even in the presence of leakage by excluding leakage from mass loss measurements. The proposed GD-BMP method represents a significant breakthrough for both biogas research and the industry. With it, accurate BMP measurement is possible with only a minimal investment in supplies and equipment. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; biogas technology; biomethane potential; batch assays; inexpensive laboratory method; gravimetric determination; inter-laboratory comparison anaerobic digestion; biogas technology; biomethane potential; batch assays; inexpensive laboratory method; gravimetric determination; inter-laboratory comparison
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Justesen, C.G.; Astals, S.; Mortensen, J.R.; Thorsen, R.; Koch, K.; Weinrich, S.; Triolo, J.M.; Hafner, S.D. Development and Validation of a Low-Cost Gas Density Method for Measuring Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP). Water 2019, 11, 2431.

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