Tracking Methane Production in Biogas Plants

  • Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer
  • Published: 22 January 2014
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Engineering in Life Sciences/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Tracking Methane Production in Biogas Plants

Energy production by biomass decomposition at biogas plants is very important for the renewable energy sector, but the specific degradation processes and methanogenic pathways taking place during anaerobic digestion are still largely unknown because the analysis is time consuming and complex. Therefore, reliable, easily measurable, and online control parameters for methane production are needed. Methane is produced by two different pathways, which can be distinguished by their isotopic signature. Acetotrophic methanogenesis shows a carbon isotopic fractionation between 15 and 30 ‰, whereas methane produced by hydrogenotropic methanogenesis is slightly more depleted.


Frank Keppler, Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, and colleagues used continuous isotope laser spectroscopy to measure δ13C(CH4) in real-time for a 3500 L biogas plant. They established the first continuous real-time measurement of stable carbon isotopes of methane in a pilot project by using an optical isotope spectrograph. By measuring the δ13C(CH4) values they were able to detect changes in the processes taking place inside the biogas plant. This method also makes it possible to detect process failures at an early stage.


Article Views: 2982

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


CONNECT:

ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter


Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)published by Wiley-VCH