Project meeting of STEP at the site of the company ATS - Agro Trading & Solutions in Hardegsen (Photo: DBFZ)


Project ID 03KB106

ELIRAS - Developing a guideline for the selection of site specific stirring and disintegration processes for biogas plants

Biogas laboratory at the DBFZ (Photo: DBFZ)


  • 01.01.2015 – 30.06.2018


DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH
Torgauer Straße 116
04347 Leipzig

Dr. Jürgen Pröter – project manager
Telephone: +49 (0)341 2434-517
E-mail: juergen.proeter(

Josephine Hofmann – further contact person
Telephone: +49 (0)341 2434-570


03KB106B - Lifetec – Systems Gesellschaft mbH
03KB106C - Maier Energie und Umwelt GmbH

Associated partners

Cooperation partners



Final report only available in German.

Scientific paper: 

Hofmann J, Peltri G, Sträuber H, Müller L, Schumacher B, Müller U, Liebetrau J (2016): Statistical Interpretation of Semi‐Continuous Anaerobic Digestion Experiments on the Laboratory Scale. DOI:

Hofmann J, Müller L, Weinrich S, Debeer L, Schumacher B, Velghe F, Liebetrau J (2019): Assessing the Effects of Substrate Disintegration on Methane Yield. DOI:


Enhancing efficiency of procedures and related cost reduction are key challenges for the utilization of biomass. In the sector of biogas production especially processes for treating the substrates (disintegration) play an important role, since they have an enormous potential for efficiency enhancement. Currently, an objective evaluation of hydrodynamic parameters (e.g. stirring technology) as well as appraising disintegration effects is not possible due to the lack of consistent evaluation criteria. The market for disintegration technologies is versatile and unclear. Hence, topic of the overall project is a scientific assessment of stirring and disintegration processes for biogas plants.


The purpose of the project is to ascertain objective and consistent evaluation criteria to the effect of disintegration. On the one hand selected disintegration processes will be exemplarily analyzed for potential impacts on the degradation of substrates. On the other hand hydrodynamic effects on the fermenter content (viscosity and particle size) will be considered and evaluated. The results, developed criteria as well as process interrelations will be summarized in a public guideline. In this guideline stirring technology and procedures for disintegrating biogenic residues (e.g. straw, grass cuttings) will be recommended in adaption to different biogas plants. The guideline will serve as an aid in decision making for operators. Demonstrating the decision algorithm on a full-scale biogas plant will ensure the transferability into practice. The overall objective is to significantly enhance the total energy efficiency of a biogas plant, so that emissions, for example from digestate can be reduced to a minimum.


Based on an analysis of needs and potential of disintegration certain treatment processes will be exemplarily investigated on potential effects on the degradation of substrates. In addition, effects on the fermenter content (viscosity, particle size) will be considered. These and further criteria (economic and ecological aspects) as well as related process interrelations (e.g. stirrer’s design) provide the basis for developing a guideline. The guideline will be available to the public. The core of the guideline will be an evaluation algorithm for disintegration processes. After successful development a demonstration of the algorithm on a full-scale biogas plant is planned.


  • disintegration
  • stirring
  • biogas plant



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