Anaero Technology was founded from our need for equipment capable of evaluating the biogas or inhibitory potential of feeds processed in full-scale AD plants. Anaero Technology has developed and patented equipment that is easy to use, robust, consistent, and capable of using the same inoculum, and feed, of full-scale plants. We aim to improve access to AD research and optimisation whilst driving research standards up.
Anaero Technology’s lab-scale anaerobic digestion research bioreactors are capable of automatically feeding heterogeneous feedstock, as used in full-scale AD operation. This system provides high quality replication of full-scale AD processes, from feed storage, to digestate capture in a gas-tight set (feeder, digester, digestatetank, gas flow meter) that allows efficient mass balances.
Temperature and mixing can be effectively manipulated in lab-scale reactors. However, the manual feeding regime prevalent for “semi-continuous” lab-scale digesters detracts significantly from full-scale operation. Most full-scale AD plants feed on an hourly or two-hourly basis, and the performance and microbiology will reflect that. Feeding less regularly has been found to contribute to instability (transient increase in CO2 content of biogas and VFA increase in the liquid). On the other hand, at full-scale, each feeding “batch” takes several minutes to be pumped into a digester adding to up to 6 hours of feed pumping each day. The result is that the process is not shock-loaded by large bursts of feed and biogas production is more stable than when feed is delivered less regularly.
The automatically fed digesters developed by Anaero Technology enable research with real feedstock that closely reflect the operational conditions of real AD plant, enabling advanced and representative research.
Auto-fed digester with 6 reactors. This is the standard Lobster model. Six 2-litre digesters on two beams, offering two volumetric feeding rates, i.e. each beam automatically feeding three digesters.
• More representative degradation kinetics and microbiology studies. Feeding once a day is reflected on biogas kinetics, and influences the microbiology.
• By minimising time spent feeding you can do more analysis. Auto feed all year round 24/7.
• Eliminate “feed compensations” to achieve target OLRs at the expense of representability.
• If a plant feeds 20 times a day your lab digester feeds 20 times a day. As close to real life as you can get in the lab!
• Reliable mass balances. From feeder to digestate bottles, all vessels are gas-tight. Online access to real-time gas flow monitoring.