Use of MIR Spectroscopy for Optimisation of Biogas Plants

Simon Murray, Elaine Groom, Christian Wolf

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


MIR spectroscopy is an established technique which has process monitoring applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Previous attempts to utilise the technology for monitoring of AD plants were of limited success, with operation hindered by severe clogging of the probe.

Novel fittings, which allow a probe to be withdrawn from the process fluid, cleaned and recalibrated in situ have now been developed to combat this clogging problem. This has allowed a spectroscopic probe to be used successfully in lab scale digesters for real time measurement of VFA concentration, a key parameter to the stability of AD plants.

This project will demonstrate the technology at a farm scale AD plant for the first time. Both real-time measurements of VFA concentrations and parameters currently measured by plant operators will be available, leading to state-of-the-art monitoring and control of the AD plant. With the improved monitoring that this probe will deliver, it is hoped to realise a 10% increase in biogas production without compromising the stability of the process. This will deliver both economic and environmental benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyWaste & Resources Action Programme
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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