On-line monitoring of anaerobic digestion: Application of a device for continuous measurement of bicarbonate alkalinity

F. R. Hawkes, A. J. Guwy, D. L. Hawkes, A. G. Rozzi

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Alkalinity or pH buffering capacity in anaerobic digesters is chiefly a function of bicarbonate levels, and should be within 10 to 50 mM for stable operation. A novel on-line instrument for measuring bicarbonate alkalinity has been developed, independent of titration techniques. Using a 10 litre anaerobic filter digester operating on ice-cream wastewater, on-line measurements were made of bicarbonate alkalinity, pH, gas production and % CO2 and hydrogen concentration in the biogas during periods of organic overload. The bicarbonate alkalinity monitor was shown to be an effective instrument for monitoring instability of anaerobic digestion, and a useful tool for early warning of overloading. Moreover, in digesters fed with wastewaters containing low potential alkalinity, it allows indirect on-line determination of variations in volatile fatty acid concentration. Finally, used in conjunction with a sensor that measures CO2 in the gas, it allows an indirect but accurate determination of pH in those solutions where fouling of electrodes is severe.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Volume30
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1994
    EventProceedings of the IAWQ 7th International Symposium on Anaerobic Digestion - Cape Town, S Afr
    Duration: 23 Jan 199428 Jan 1994

    Keywords

    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Bicarbonate alkalinity
    • Ice-cream wastewater
    • On-line monitoring
    • Organic overload

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