Microbe Detectives: Study aims to improve AD performance

By Microbe Detectives LLC | January 26, 2017

Microbe Detectives LLC recently announced a microbiome study aimed at creating new insights on how to improve biogas anaerobic digester performance, based on data collected this spring from 50 biogas/digester systems. Biogas anaerobic digesters are employed in wastewater and landfill systems worldwide to create renewable energy.

Microbe Detectives' next generation DNA sequencing services and proprietary database will be applied to analyze digester microbiology. Digester operational data will also be collected. A team of experts has been commissioned to direct and implement the study. Supporting organizations include Environmental Business Specialists, Riverbend Labs, LuminUltra, ByoGon, International Microbial Associations, and ETI.

According to the American Biogas Council, untapped U.S. biogas opportunities have the potential to power 7.5 million American homes, while removing the equivalent of up to 15.4 million passenger vehicles from the road. The U.S. has about 2,200 sites producing biogas in all 50 states. About 13,500 new sites are ripe for development.

“We are not commissioning this study to publish a report in a scientific journal,” said John Tillotson, CEO of Microbe Detectives. “There is already a good body of work in that area. Our goal is to identify performance improvement opportunities for owners and operators that participate in the study, by greatly improving their knowledge of the microbiology of their systems and how it correlates to digester performance. It may be just a starting point, but it's likely to change the game.”

For an anaerobic digester to perform properly, microscopic bacteria and archaea must survive and constantly regenerate inside the digester. These microbes require proper organic feedstock, environmental conditions, nutrients and water to perform their functions properly and create a thriving environment. If the conditions are not optimal, the biogas production system can be significantly negatively affected or completely halted. Conventional test methods can identify less than 1 percent of these microbes. This study will identify nearly 100 percent. Data analytics will be applied to inform.

For more information go to: https://microbedetectives.com/digester/