Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 1083–1090 | Cite as

New Small Scale Bioreactor System for the Determination of the Biochemical Methane Potential

  • Nikolai HolderEmail author
  • Marilaine Mota-Meira
  • Jens Born
  • Sarah L. Sutrina
Short Communication



A small scale bioreactor was designed and built to investigate the amount of biogas, and, specifically, methane, produced from different sources.


Comparative studies between the system designed and a standard type apparatus were performed using two substrates, fish offal and grass cuttings.


The specific methane potentials of the substrates, for the small scale batch reactor and the standard system, respectively, were 78.8 ± 23.5 mL/gFM (89.4 ± 26.7 NmL/goDM) and 76.6 ± 13.7 NmL/gFM (86.9 ± 15.5 NmL/goDM) for the grass, and 20.8 ± 1.7 NmL/gFM (88.2 ± 1.5 NmL/goDM) and 15.2 ± 6.4 NmL/gFM (64.9 ± 27.3 NmL/goDM) for the fish offal. The values determined using the two different apparatus types were not significantly different (p > 0.05).


Whereas lab equipment for substrate analysis, such as determination of the total solids and volatile solids content, is available in most chemistry and biochemistry labs, the biomethane potential test is very specific for biogas technology. The major significance of this work is that the new bioreactor system, which provides similar levels of accuracy as more conventional laboratory type systems, is produced from inexpensive, easily accessible components.


Biogas Biochemical methane potential Biofuels Anaerobic digestion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolai Holder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marilaine Mota-Meira
    • 1
  • Jens Born
    • 2
  • Sarah L. Sutrina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyThe University of the West IndiesCave Hill CampusBarbados
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering and Maritime TechnologiesHochschule Flensburg, University of Applied SciencesFlensburgGermany

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