October 18th, 2012
Process Instruments kindly hosted this fascinating and topical workshop, attended by 25 delegates, and chaired by Chris Jones of Northumbrian Water Ltd. Malcolm Meadows of Northumbrian Water set the scene by providing an operators view of anaerobic digestion in sewage treatment works, in collaboration with Donna Rowlinson also of NWL. Richard Lancaster and Neil Baird went on to describe the resource potential from sewage sludge. Iain Ward of CNG continued this theme by explaining how biomethane can be injected into the national grid and how gas quality is monitored. Mike Riding of Process Instruments then outlined how dry solids can be monitored.
An in depth discussion of process and analytical sensors was then provided by John Marsh and Bob Lane of Siemens. We then heard about cutting edge research into sensors for anaerobic digestion. Grace Oppong of the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre explained how a volatile solids inferential sensor could be used for advanced control for anaerobic digesters. Matthew Wade told us about the future potential for analysing microbial populations in anaerobic digestion processes by using high-throughput sequencing, the technology for which is becoming smaller and cheaper by magnitudes. This could provide the means for predicting foaming problems and managing the process to prevent them from occurring.