Transferability of Results from Laboratory Scale to Biogas Plants at Real Scale

Hans Oechsner, Benedikt Huelsemann, Carlos M. Martínez Hernández


The costs of biogas plants are determined by the costs of the substrates they use, representing 40 to 60% of the annual operating costs of these in Germany, with energy crops being widely used as substrates in anaerobic digesters. The determination of methane performance in different substrates via Batch tests is carried out using the German VDI-4630 standard in approximately 40 different laboratories installed in Germany. The results obtained in the methane yield of the substrates valued at the laboratory level show great correspondence with those achieved at real scale in the active plants. The Biogas Guide compiled by KTBL German Agency based on the results obtained by several well-known laboratories and institutes in that country, has shown that the accuracy of these results can be taken into account for the economic planning studies of new biogas plants. Fermentation tests are the most accurate method for determining the methane yield of the parts of the plants under analysis. In recent times, the use of biogas laboratories has increased in the validation of methane yield at the laboratory scale of different substrates, motivating the cooperation and use of standard research protocols among them, thus ensuring a high quality of the results obtained and its replicability.


Batch tests; anaerobic digester; German standard; VDI-4630

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