MOST – Model Based Process control of Biogasplants: Practical Tests

The development goal of subproject »Practical Tests« was to evaluate the possibility of operational safety increase in biogas plants through early detection of process disturbance, allowing a timely reaction and thus increasing the profitability of biogas plants.

© Fraunhofer IGB
Pilot Plant with Online-Measurements.
© Fraunhofer IGB
Online-Gasmeasurement of the stepwise anaerobic digsetion reaction.

Various operational conditions were experimentally simulated on a laboratory and pilot plant scale. Relevant operational changes were executed and the effects on the process documented. The experiments focused on extreme situations of the biogas process, aimed at registering the individual reactions through measurable parameters and, if possible, incorporate the findings into the simulation program developed by the project partner Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg.

The results have clearly demonstrated the stepwise reaction that leads to biogas production, which characterizes the direct correlation between acids concentration and biogas production. The data density of the online measurements allowed the minute-exact identification of the shift from one preferred metabolic pathway to another.

In addition, further correlations could be presented, which are currently not shown in the standard models such as ADM1. The stoichiometric distribution of metabolic products is approximately correct, a thermodynamic consideration is also relevant in the more extreme cases of the anaerobic digestion process.


[1] Batstone, D. J.; Keller, I.; Angelidaki, I.; Kalyuzhnyi, S. V.; Pavlostathis, S. G.; Rozzi, A.; Sanders, W. T. M.; Siegrist, H.; Vavilin, V. A. (2002) The IWA Anaerobic Digestion Model No 1 (ADM1), Water Science and Technology Vol. 45, Nr. 10, pp. 65-73

Project information

Project title

MOST – Model Based Process control of Biogasplants: Practical Tests


Project duration

October 2013 – December 2017


Project partners

  • Hochschule Hamm-Lippstadt, Dr. Dieter Bryniok, Hamm (Coordination)
  • Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, Fakultät für Elektrotechnik, Abteilung Theoretische Elektrotechnik und Numerische Feldberechnung, Hamburg
  • CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH, Erfurt
  • BlueSens gas sensor GmbH, Herten
  • Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Mikrobiologie, Innsbruck, Österreich


We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the project sponsor Jülich (PTJ) for funding the project "MOST", promotional reference n° 03SF0456B.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research.