Optimisation of Digester Performance and Gas Yield through Analysis of VFA Speciation

Horan, N.J., Smyth, M*.and May, A.*
School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, UK
*Aqua Enviro Ltd. Wakefield, UK
Corresponding Author Tel. +44924242255 Email


Operation of anaerobic digesters is not a simple process. But in view of the potential value of the methane generated and the opportunities to produce additional methane through a fully optimised digester, it is worth ensuring that strategies are in place to achieve this. Many options are available but analysis of the composition of the volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in the digester provides a sophisticated approach that permits fine tuning of digester performance. This paper describes the theory of control through analysis of VFAs, outlines methods for their analysis, and describes how the results can be applied to digester control.

Key Words
Anaerobic digestion, volatile fatty acids, organic wastes, biosolids, digester operation

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