Anaerobic bioprocessing pilot plant
The NRC Anaerobic Bioprocessing Pilot Plant collaborates with engineering firms and their industrial or municipal clients to assess the potential for anaerobic processes such as anaerobic digestion (AD) to reduce the organic load in effluents and associated costs, as well as to produce valuable bioproducts such as methane, acids or alcohols. Various organic feedstocks can be used for bioprocessing, including:
- organic wastes from various industries such as breweries, dairies, paper mills, etc.
- municipal wastewater sludge and organic fraction of solid municipal wastes; and
- agricultural wastes and crops.
The pilot plant is designed for the development and optimization of complete wet anaerobic processes, including the testing of various pre-treatments (mechanical, chemical, enzymatic) to enhance methane production. The plant can process sludges or suspensions with as much as 15 percent solids in a fully automated operation.
Services we offer
Our equipment makes it possible to test various methods of bioconverting organic feedstocks into chemicals or energy carriers, and to optimize the process at a larger scale and under non-ideal conditions. The following operational units can be used separately or in combination:
- hydrolysis (chemical and/or enzymatic);
- acidogenic and/or alcoholic fermentation;
- biogas production (methane, hydrogen);
- bio/chemical electricity generation.
The platform arrangement allows for scale-up (including fine-tuning, validation, calibration) of prototypes formerly developed at a small-scale, and potentially downstream from one or several of the operational units described above.
We also offer:
- technology evaluation (performance assessment, energy balance);
- chemical, biochemical, and microbiological monitoring of processes;
- technology optimization (feeding recipes, operational protocol, environmental and physiological conditions);
- on-line control implementation/adaptation; and
- process modeling and kinetics assessment for model calibration.
Our team specializes in bioenergy production from organic residues through anaerobic digestion (AD), syngas bioconversion and microbial fuel cell processing. This provides access to state-of-the-art techniques for process design and evaluation, operation optimization, process instrumentation and control, and the evaluation of energy production potential. Our group integrates the knowledge of engineers, microbiologists and molecular biologists. Over the past 20 years we have developed a recognized expertise in the field of anaerobic digestion, which is evidenced in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, conference proceedings and several patents.
Pilot plant equipment includes:
- a 2,000-litre CSTR digester and a 500-litre UASB digester;
- a 4,000-litre refrigerated feed tank for continuous operation and a 1,000-litre pre-treatment (chemical or enzymatic) reactor;
- a digestate filtration system for post-processing of the soluble fraction;
- mechanical pre-treatment equipment (macerator).
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