Header of the measurement method collection Biogas, newest edition 2020

Collection of Methods for Biogas

Methods to determine parameters for analysis purposes and parameters that describe processes in the biogas sector

In cooperation with a large number of experts from the Research Network Bioenergy, the collection of methods for biogas was compiled. The collection provides, for the first time, the opportunity to give an overview of the methods for the determination of analytical and process descriptive parameters and to make comparisons regarding their suitability for specific applications (including strengths and challenges). The first edition was published in 2012, since the collection have regularly updated and expanded.

New edition of the biogas measurement methods collection published in English in 2020.

In 2020 the method articles were updated and supplemented by more than 20 methods from the fields of gas analysis, batch and interlaboratory tests as well as innovative test equipment. Since 2020 the collection of methods for biogas is published in English only.

Latest editions

English version:
07 Collection of Measurement Methods for Biogas
Methods to determine parameters for analysis purposes and parameters that describe processes in the biogas sector (2020)

Chinese version:
07 Collection of Measurement Methods for Biogas
Methods to determine parameters for analysis purposes and parameters that describe processes in the biogas sector (2019 based on the English version of 2016)

Table of content

Editorial notes

Table of abbreviations and symbols

1 Introduction

2 Definitions

3 Methods for the determination of fundamental parameters

3.1 Sampling of manure (Suitability for biogas production)

Walter Stinner, Velina Denysenko, DBFZ

3.2 Determination of total solids (dry matter) and volatile solids (organic dry matter)

Katrin Strach, DBFZ

3.3 Total solids content correction according to Weissbach & Strubelt

Britt Schumacher, DBFZ

3.4 Determination of the VOA value (according to Kapp) and of the VOA/ buffer capacity value (in accordance with FAL)

Katrin Strach, Michael-Dittrich Zechendorf, DBFZ

3.5 Determination of the ammonia nitrogen content

Katrin Strach, DBFZ

3.6 Prediction of process failures by determining the early warning indicators A/elCon, EWI-VFA/Ca and EWI-P/Ca

Patrick Schröder1, Anne Kleyböcker2, Hilke Würdemann1,3

1Hochschule Merseburg University of Applied Sciences

2Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH

3Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences - GFZ

4 Methods for the determination of chemical parameters

4.1 Determination of aliphatic, organic acids and benzaldehyde with headspace GC

Martin Apelt, DBFZ

4.2 Determination of organic acids

Lucie Moeller, UFZ; Kati Görsch, DBFZ; Dietmar Ramhold, ISF Schaumann Forschung mbH; Erich Kielhorn, TU Berlin

4.3 Determination of aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, volatile fatty acids

Erich Kielhorn, Peter Neubauer, Stefan Junne, TU Berlin

4.4 Examination of samples of solids (substrates) and digestates with HPLC for aliphatic and aromatic acids, alcohols and aldehydes

Martin Apelt, DBFZ

4.5 Determination of sugars and glucose degradation products

Jana Mühlenberg, DBFZ

4.6 Determination of carbohydrates based on GC-MS analytics

Erich Kielhorn, Peter Neubauer, Stefan Junne; TU Berlin

4.7 Determination of total Kjeldahl nitrogen and crude protein

Michael Dittrich-Zechendorf, DBFZ

4.8 Determination of the protein content

Lucie Moeller, UFZ; Kati Görsch, DBFZ

4.9 Determination of crude fat

Michael Dittrich-Zechendorf, DBFZ

4.10  Determination of  crude fibre 

Michael Dittrich-Zechendorf, DBFZ

4.11  Process specification for the determination of  ADF and ADL 

Michael Dittrich-Zechendorf, DBFZ

4.12 Determination of Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF)

Michael Dittrich-Zechendorf, DBFZ

5 Methods for gas analysis

5.1  Measuring methods for determining gas flow in raw biogas

Robert Binder, Manuela Charatjan, Michael Krafzig, Binder Engineering GmbH

5.2 Measuring methods for determining gas quality in raw biogas

Robert Binder, Manuela Charatjan, Michael Krafzig, Binder Engineering GmbH

5.3 Sampling and measurement of siloxanes

Ute Merrettig-Bruns, Bettina Sayder, Edda Möhle, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

5.4 Determination of methane emission potential of liquid manure during storage at ambient temperature

Britt Schumacher, Walter Stinner, Katrin Strach, DBFZ; Thomas Amon, ATB

5.5 Emission measurements on plants for biological waste treatment

Carsten Cuhls, gewitra – Ingenieurgesellschaft für Wissenstransfer mbH; Torsten Reinelt, Jan Liebetrau, DBFZ

5.6 Determination of the total emissions from biogas plants by means of optical remote sensing

Tanja Westerkamp (former DBFZ)

5.7 Monitoring of operational methane emissions from pressure relief valves of biogas plants

Torsten Reinelt, Jan Liebetrau, DBFZ

5.8 Measurement of volatile organic trace compounds

Jorge Iván Salazar Gómez, Andrea Gerstner, Alisa Jovic, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

6 Methods for the determination of the physical parameters

6.1 Particle size distributions

Marc Lincke, Karin Jobst, Fraunhofer IKTS

6.2 Determination of the surface tension

Lucie Moeller, UFZ; Kati Görsch, DBFZ

6.3 Determination of the foaming potential by means of the "bubble test"

Lucie Moeller, UFZ; Kati Görsch, DBFZ

6.4 LEIPZIG FOAM TESTER – Test set for the determination of the tendency of a substrate to foam

Lucie Moeller, Yvonne Köster, Andreas Zehnsdorf, UFZ

6.5 Viscosity

6.5.1 Measurement methods for the rheologic characterisation of fermentation substrates

Manuel Brehmer, Matthias Kraume, TU Berlin

6.5.2  Modification  of  measuring  systems  for  the  application  to  flow  behaviour  determination of  fibrous  suspensions

Karin Jobst, Marc Lincke, Fraunhofer IKTS

6.6 Flow analysis

6.6.1 Utilisation of measuring sensors

Manuel Brehmer, Matthias Kraume, TU Berlin

6.6.2 Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT)

Annett Lomtscher, Fraunhofer IKTS

6.7 Determination of the retention time by means of tracers

Helge Lorenz, Yong-Sung Kim, René Benndorf, Peter Fischer, DBFZ

6.8 Determination of the retention time behaviour with the help of studies of tracers

Anne Kleyböcker, GFZ

 6.9  Process  specification  for  the  determination  of  sand 

Katrin Strach, DBFZ

7 Methods for the determination of biological parameters

7.1 Description of the experiment for the Oberhausen/Rostock/Göttingen Activity Test (ORGA-Test)

Nils Engler, DBFZ

7.2 Nucleic acid based molecular biology tests

Denny Popp, Fabian Bonk, Daniela Becker, Sabine Kleinsteuber, UFZ

7.3 Continuous fermentation tests

Marc Lincke, Björn Schwarz; Fraunhofer IKTS

7.4 Continuous fermentation tests

Katrin Strach, DBFZ

7.5 Microbiological tests

Tobias Lienen1, Patrick Schröder2, Hilke Würdemann1, 2

1Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences - GFZ

2Hochschule Merseburg University of Applied Sciences

7.6  Culture  based  quantification  of  methanogenic  reactor  communities 

Andreas Otto Wagner, Paul Illmer, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Microbiology

7.7 Differentiation of methanogenic pathways in biogas plants using compound-specific stable isotope analysis 

Anko Fischer, Kevin Kuntze, Isodetect GmbH; Liane Müller, DBFZ; Hans-Hermann Richnow, Marcell Nikolausz, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

8 Batch tests

8.1 Inter-Laboratory Test: KTBL/VDLUFA-Proficiency Test  Biogas 

Mark Paterson, Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture; Hans Oechsner, University of Hohenheim; Peter Tillmann, VDLUFA Quality Assurance NIRS GmbH

8.2 Biogas Interlaboratory Tests at the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL)

Günter Henkelmann, Christian Vogt, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, LfL

8.3 LfL - Batch test

Vasilis Dandikas, Fabian Lichti, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, LfL

8.4 Gas yield test (batch)

Marc Lincke, Björn Schwarz, Fraunhofer IKTS

8.5 GRW-Biogas- and Biomethane Potential Test

Nils Engler, DBFZ

8.6 Determination of the maximum possible biogas output of substrates by disintegration with sodium hydroxide

Björn Schwarz, Fraunhofer IKTS

8.7 Design of an Anaerobic Dry Batch Digestion Pilot Plant System with Provisions to Simulate Full Scale Conditions

Earl Jenson, Alex Hayes, Steve Mervin, Sylvanus Ekwe, InnoTech Alberta

8.8  Specific  activity-,  toxicity-  and  supplementing test  (ATS)  for  the optimization of the facility management of biogas plants

Mathias Hartel, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture

8.9 Determination of the residual gas/residual methane potential

Hans Oechsner, State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy, University of Hohenheim

8.10 Gravimetric measurement of BMP

Sasha D. Hafner, Aarhus University; Brian K. Richards, Cornell University, Ithaca, Sergi Astals, University of Barcelona

8.11 Kinetic modelling of anaerobic batch tests

Sören Weinrich, DBFZ; Sergi Astals, University of Queensland; Sasha D. Hafner, Aarhus University; Konrad Koch, Technical University of Munich

9 Calculation and assessment methods

9.1 SWOT analysis

Christof Heußner, Oliver Kugelstadt, Tobias Bahr, Klaus Fricke, TU Braunschweig

9.2 Calculation of plant/process indexes (optimisation potential of individual process steps)

Christof Heußner, Oliver Kugelstadt, Tobias Bahr, Klaus Fricke, TU Braunschweig

9.3 Determination of the effect of organic fertilisers on the humus supply of soils

Doreen Zirkler and Peter Dominik, TU Berlin

9.4 Mass balancing of biogas plants

Sören Weinrich, Jürgen Pröter, Josephine Hofmann, DBFZ; Jürgen Kube, Future Biogas Ltd

9.5 Load detection and process control using gas analysis and fuzzy logic

Ernst Murnleitner, Michael Landa, Awite Bioenergie GmbH

10 Innovative test equipment and instruments

10.1 Measurement of H2 (dissolved – gaseous)

Jens Zosel, KSI

10.2 In-situ investigation of multiple physico-chemical parameters in the liquid phase of digesters with mobile sensor devices

Anika Bockisch, Stefan Junne, Peter Neubauer, TU Berlin

10.3 Determination of methane potential of organic biomass using Automatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS II)

Jing Liu, Mihaela Nistor, Sten Strömberg, Bioprocess Control Sweden AB

10.4 Determination of carbon compounds (methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in biogas and biomethane using non-dispersive infrared spectrometry (NDIR)

Michael Landa, Christian Etzkorn, Ernst Murnleitner, Awite Bioenergie GmbH

10.5 Substrate suitability assessment for anaerobic dry digestion processes – Method to determine substrate material permeability under compaction

Harald Wedwitschka, Daniela Gallegos, Jan Liebetrau, DBFZ; Earl Jenson, InnoTech Alberta

Table of tables

Table of illustrations

Table of literature


Publication Collection of Methods for Biogas in Chinese

The Collection of Methods for Biogas was translated into Chinese (based on the German version form 2016) and presented at the China Biogas Society Annual Meeting in November 2019. Approximately 400 participants took part in this conference, including many top experts from research and biogas plant operators in China. The collection was so popular that the print edition was almost completely out of print. 

The methodological knowledge of the Chinese edition is intended to support the standardised application and comparability of results in the biogas sector in the Chinese-speaking world as well. It thus offers a valuable basis for dissemination in research, teaching and export activities of German biogas companies in China.

Lets contribute!

If  you  would  like  to  contribute  additional  methods  to  the "Collection of Methods for Biogas"  or  do  you  have  comments  and/or  suggestions  for  adjustments  regarding  the  current  edition,  please  contact:

Diana Pfeiffer
Telephone: +49 (0)341 2434-554
E-mail: diana.pfeiffer‍@‍dbfz.de