Join Our 2018 Biogas Anaerobic Digester Microbiome Study



Microbe Detectives, along with support from Barr Engineering is conducting a multi-client study focused on optimizing biogas anaerobic digesters at municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Biogas Anaerobic Digester Study Objectives

  1. Build on the success of the 2017 study to further increase methane production as a source of clean renewable energy
  2. Evaluate correlations between microbial community and operational data to link microbiome digital signature to AD performance
  3. Digitize the microbiome of many different AD systems across different facilities, climates, and times of year
  4. Educate the AD industry on insights and possibilities
  5. Provide educational opportunities for participants to “tell their story”

Biogas Anaerobic Digester Study Deliverables

Microbe Detectives will provide specialized DNA sequencing, analyses, and Microbiome Digital Signature reports on a regular basis to participating facilities. Operational data will also be collected, analyzed and incorporated into the study where possible.

All DNA sequencing and operational data across all participating facilities will be aggregated, analyzed and incorporated into The 2018 Performance Comparison of Anaerobic Digesters report. Participants of the study will receive a complimentary copy of this report.

Dr. Alison Ling will present key findings at the 2018 Microbiome Water Summit. This session will be video recorded and streamed live on the Internet with free access. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate, co-present, participate on panels and network at the 2018 Microbiome Water Summit and other conferences.

Tracking Biogas Anaerobic Digester Performance using Next Generation DNA Sequencing

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Autumn Fisher, City of Fond du Lac
[We use Microbe Detectives’ DNA analysis for] looking at our digester operations and looking at our methanogen populations and starting to get a better idea [of performance], because we do have a co-digestion program, we accept high-strength waste. How are those different substrates affecting our populations of methanogens within our digesters? Is it good? it is bad? What kind of changes have been made to our digestion that could affect our methane production? We have a biogas generator on site as well, so we’re utilizing that biogas. The biogas very important to us. If we can do anything to promote better biogas production that’s going to be helpful to us for energy [production]. So is [DNA Analysis] giving you more insight that you didn’t have prior? Absolutely, there’s a lot that we’ve been able to look at and quantify that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

DNA Analysis and Microbiome Digital Signature Report

This analysis is specialized for measuring and monitoring the ecology of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) systems in a wastewater treatment facility for the purpose of optimizing their performance.

  • All nitrogen and phosphorous consuming microbes known to science are identified along with a quantification of percent prevalence.
  • PAOs and GAOs are tracked on a dashboard for BioP programs including a trend analysis over time.
  • AOBs and NOBs are tracked for nitrogen removal programs.
  • The top ten microbes based on percent prevalence are identified plus many others important in wastewater treatment, and a complete listing of all microbes identified.

Results are communicated in a Microbiome Digital Signature (MDS) report to create actionable insight, see sample below:

Lead Author of 2018 Biogas Anaerobic Digester Study

leon downing

Dr. Alison Ling, PhD, PE, is an Environmental Engineer with Barr Engineering Company in Minneapolis, MN. At Barr, she is engaged in front-end design and troubleshooting for water and wastewater treatment projects. Her work includes process modeling, bench and pilot testing, and technical advising for clients in the power, mining, agricultural, and municipal sectors. Ali completed her PhD at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she split her time between the Environmental Engineering and Molecular Biology departments, and was co-advised by Norm Pace, an early pioneer in the field of 16S community analysis. For her PhD work, she analyzed microbial communities associated with concrete corrosion in wastewater collection systems and characterized correlations between microbial community trends and environmental metadata.

How to Participate in Biogas Anaerobic Digester Study:

1. Order DNA Analysis

Select from 3 packages, priced for one system in one facility, based on number of samples sequenced and reports issued. Prices include collection kits, analyses, and Microbiome Digital Signature reports.

Reports are provided to participants at no charge.

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Registration Forms for Study

Submit DIGESTER form once:

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Submit SAMPLE form for each sample:

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