Tank design plays an important role in optimising the biogas output from anaerobic digestion. Sam Hinton, technical support manager at the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) identifies some key considerations for owners and operators.
AD is a simple, centuries-old technology and hugely complex beast. In principle it is simple; you put organic matter into a reception vessel with bacteria and it will produce gas. That is why it is often, not always correctly, likened to a concrete cow. The more you seek to optimise this living structure and its gas production, however, the more complex and sophisticated the system becomes. While the feedstock delivers the gas, it needs the right environment to maximise results and that means paying attention to tank design. As with all things practical, form reflects function.