Category Archive: Environmental management

Anaerobic Digester Gas Analysis from Nova Analytical

What Is Anaerobic Digestion?

Organic material refers to carbon-based compounds formed by living organisms (e.g., animal manure, food waste, and wastewater biosolids). It can be turned into more usable compounds (i.e., biogas and digestate) through a process known as anaerobic digestion.

The anaerobic digestion process utilizes microorganisms to break down organic material in the absence of oxygen. It occurs within a sealed vessel called a reactor or digester, which contains microbes that process (i.e., digest) the material and produce biogas and digestate. These end products are then discharged from the vessel so they can be collected and used.


What Does an Anaerobic Digester Produce?

The process of anaerobic digestion produces two key products: biogas and digestate.


Biogas consists of methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, water vapor, and trace amounts of other gaseous compounds. Several types of bacteria are involved in producing it. First, first-stage bacteria break down the carbohydrates present in the material into soluble compounds (e.g., sugars and amino acids. Next, acidogenic bacteria consume these compounds and convert them into ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and organic acids. Then, these compounds are turned into acetic acid, which is converted into biogas by anaerobic methanogenic archaea bacteria. Finally, the biogas can be purified to generate renewable natural gas (RNG). This final product can be used as a power source for various equipment.


Digestate is the material remaining after anaerobic digestion. It consists of solid and liquid components, which are generally separated and handled individually since they can be valuable with proper post-processing. Applications include animal bedding, bioplastics, compost, fertilizer, and soil additives.

Types of Anaerobic Digesters

There are many types of anaerobic digesters available. They can be classified into four general categories:

  • Covered anaerobic lagoon digesters: These systems are sealed with a flexible cover. They are designed to recover and pipe methane to the combustion chamber.
  • Plug flow digesters: These systems feature a low, narrow concrete tank with a rigid or flexible cover. They are designed to be partially or fully below grade, which limits the demand for supplemental heat.
  • Complete mix digester: These systems have an enclosed and heated tank with a mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic mixing mechanism.
  • Dry digesters: These systems have an upright, silo-style design. They are made from concrete and steel and feature a rigid cover.

What Is Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic Digesters From Nova Analytical Systems

Anaerobic digestion primarily produces carbon dioxide and methane. However, trace amounts of other gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, and oxygen, are also generated. While these compounds can be valuable when properly handled, they can also present some problems, especially methane. Methane greenhouse gas is 20 times more potent than CO2. That’s why many countries require gas levels to be monitored at biogas and landfill sites. Facilities may also integrate an analyzer system between the gas supply line’s output and the receiving process’s input to determine the specific makeup of the gas, which is essential to attaining and maintaining efficient and safe operating conditions. Different gas readings can be used for different purposes. For example, oxygen readings can be used to detect inbound air leaks in the collection system, while carbon monoxide readings can be used to detect subsurface fires.

Need gas analyzers for your biogas or landfill facility? Nova Analytical has got you covered! We offer a variety of gas analyzers systems to suit different customer applications. To learn more about our product offerings and how they can benefit your facility, contact us or request a quote today.

DuraNova Continuous Gas Analysis for Process Industries

Nova Analytical Systems is uniquely positioned to offer quality off-gas analysis to a wide range of process industries such as landfill, biogas, syngas, steel making, process atmosphere and smelting.  Our mission for over 30 years is to provide high-tech continuous gas analysis that is reliable, innovative and relative to your process gas needs.process gas analysis

In our new product guide, Dependable Gas Analysis with DuraNOVA Continuous Gas Solutions, we outline our continuous gas analysis capabilities that offer a complete turnkey solution that combines superior technology housed in robust equipment.  Our newest feature, “multi-point capability” provides even more options for maximum flexibility for real-time analysis.

The DuraNOVA line of continuous off-gas analyzers offers all combinations of gases and ranges to meet your engineering specification by combining:

  1. Smart Sensors – reliable sensor technologies that are precision heated and temperature controlled
  2. Smart Modules – combine the best of digital and analog to maximize analytical capability
  3. Smart Controls – offering uncomplicated calibration that are intuitive to use and for help when troubleshooting or doing preventative maintenance

Built on our heavy duty platform, the DuraNOVA design philosophy includes turnkey sample conditioning, gas analysis, environmental management and data communication all centrally located in one wall mounted cabinet.

Introducing the idea of “proactive” maintenance, an alert frequency can be configured by the end user that will send a maintenance alert to the control room when preventative maintenance on the analyzer is required.  In the event of downtime, troubleshooting becomes a breeze with our touchscreen displays which display all diagnostic alarms inclusive of troubleshooting guides to get the equipment back up and running quickly.

Our goal is to offer the best-in-class  100% turnkey solutions that integrate sensors, sample conditioning and controls. For all your continuous process gas needs, look no further than DuraNOVA.

Learn More

When choosing your next continuous off-gas analyzer solution, click here or on the download button above to learn more about our new DuraNOVA product line, by downloading our product guide.

Find out more about Nova’s continuous gas analyzers, or to request a custom quote, contact us today.