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Optimise Digester Performance by Understanding the Changes in Microbial Populations

Anaerobic Digestion is a bio-chemical process mediated by a consortium of microbes. The microbial population within a digester is dynamic and is affected by numerous factors such as temperature and pH, the presence of inhibitory chemicals such as ammonia, and of course the food which they are supplied with.

The AD Centre has developed methods to quantitatively track the changes in key anaerobes within anaerobic digestion plants. Combining these results with standard plant operational data provides a powerful diagnostic tool and allows plant operators to better manage operational changes to minimize impacts on microbial populations.

The technique has been used on several full scale industrial AD facilities treating a range of feedstocks and has allowed the AD Centre to recommend operational changes to maximize overall plant efficiency.

The AD Centre has also developed a number of strategies for shifting and enriching microbial populations to enhance process performance.