Deadline to join biogas digester study extended to April 28th

digester studyMilwaukee, WI – March 29, 2017 – Microbe Detectives announced today that it is extending the registration deadline to participate in the Biogas Anaerobic Digester study to Friday April 28. Twenty-six digesters have been registered to date, including a balanced mix between municipal and industrial operations. “Due to the strong interest in this study, we are extending the registration deadline,” said John Tillotson, CEO of Microbe Detectives. “Many facilities have expressed an interest and need a little extra time to get the budgetary approval.”

This study is aimed at creating new insights on how to optimize biogas anaerobic digester performance, based on metagenomic and operational data collected this spring from participating systems. Biogas anaerobic digesters are employed in industrial, municipal and landfill systems worldwide to create renewable energy.

Key findings and insights will be presented at the Microbiome Water Summit, held at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago on September 29th 2017 (before WEFTEC). The summit features leaders in this ground-breaking field of work, plus an opportunity to expand professional networks.

“I am really looking forward to learning the results of the Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Anaerobic Digester studies,” said Jeremy Cramer, Senior Process Engineer, Donohue & Associates. “With specialized DNA sequencing such as what is being applied in these studies, the resource recovery industry finally has the opportunity to measure the microbiology much more comprehensively than what has been previously possible. The studies will help the industry interpret results and use this new insight to optimize systems. I believe this will be a game-changer for the industry.”

Microbe Detectives’ next generation DNA sequencing services, proprietary database and data science services will be applied to analyze digester microbiology. Digester operational data will also be collected. Alison Ling, PhD, an Environmental Engineer with Barr Engineering will serve as the Principal Investigator. Dr. Ling will be supported by an Operational and Technical Advisory Group that has been assembled by Microbe Detectives. (see: Supporting organizations include Environmental Business Specialists (EBS), Riverbend Labs, LuminUltra, ByoGon, International Microbial Associates, and ETI.

Digester Microbes Revealed

According to the American Biogas Council, untapped U.S. biogas opportunities have the potential to power 7.5 million American homes, while removing the equivalent of up to 15.4 million passenger vehicles from the road. The U.S. has about 2,100 sites producing biogas in all 50 states. About 11,000 sites are ripe for development, 75% of which are dairy and swine farms.

“We see biogas renewable energy as a brilliant example of smart clean energy,” said John Tillotson, CEO of Microbe Detectives. “Instead of paying to send waste to a landfill, or thinking of wastewater as an unfortunate but necessary operational expense, biogas energy can be recovered from waste streams to generate energy. This often substantially reduces or eliminates energy expenses of municipal and industrial facilities and generates new revenue streams by selling excess energy to local utilities.”

“The surprising part to us,” Tillotson added, “is that no-one in the biogas industry measures or monitors the microbiology. This is because standard testing methods are substantially inadequate for this type of analysis, producing a best-case of <1% visibility. It’s a mysterious black-box that produces magical energy. We are working with our partners to expose an entirely new world of energy optimization opportunities.”

For an anaerobic digester to perform properly, microscopic bacteria and archaea must survive and constantly regenerate inside the digester. These microbes require proper organic feedstock, environmental conditions, nutrients and water to perform their functions properly and create a thriving environment. If the conditions are not optimal, the biogas production system can be significantly negatively affected or completely halted. Conventional test methods can identify less than 1% of these microbes. Our data usually identifies 70 to 90%. Data analytics will be applied to inform potential optimization actions. For more information go to: