The fermentation pilot plant for generating biogas under realistic conditions has been designed with the research areas of substrate feeding and sensor integration in mind and is equipped with gas sampling ports.
The plant has two fermenter reactors which can be operated under identical or different conditions. Both 22-liter reactors can be filled and emptied using peristaltic pumps. Substrate samples can be taken during the fermentation process for microbiological or chemical analysis. A wide range material parameters can be determined with the pilot plant, which can be used to draw conclusions about the fermentation process or to determine correcting variables for biogas plant controls. The types of substance produced during fermentation - often bad-smelling organic compounds containing sulfur - depends on the oxygen content in the reactor. The sampling ports are used to take gas samples for subsequent laboratory analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or to connect online gas analysis devices. The biogas generated can be collected and analyzed quasi online to determine its quality. The plant also features ports for mounting gas sensors. This enables the suitability and function of electrochemical sensors for monitoring and controlling the fermentation process to be verified.