biogas digester studyMilwaukee, WI – January 25, 2017 – Microbe Detectives LLC announced today a microbiome study aimed at creating new insights on how to improve biogas anaerobic digester performance, based on data collected this spring from biogas/digester systems. Biogas anaerobic digesters are employed in wastewater and landfill systems worldwide to create renewable energy.

Microbe Detectives’ next generation DNA sequencing services and proprietary database will be applied to analyze digester microbiology. Digester operational data will also be collected. A team of experts has been commissioned to direct and implement the study. Supporting organizations include Environmental Business Specialists (EBS), Riverbend Labs, LuminUltra, ByoGon, International Microbial Associations, and ETI.

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 2,200 sites producing biogas in all 50 states. About 13,500 new sites are ripe for development.

“We are not commissioning this study to publish a report in a scientific journal,” said John Tillotson, CEO of Microbe Detectives. “There is already a good body of work in that area. Our goal is to identify performance improvement opportunities for owners and operators that participate in the study, by greatly improving their knowledge of the microbiology of their systems and how it correlates to digester performance. It may be just a starting point, but it’s likely to change the game.”

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. This study will identify nearly 100%. Data analytics will be applied to inform.

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About Microbe Detectives

Microbe Detectives provides comprehensive microbial evaluations for water quality and disease management. We apply advanced DNA sequencing to identify and quantify nearly 100% of the microbes in a sample of water, delivering actionable insight. Existing technologies such as culture or microscopy can only identify about 1% of microbes or less. Microbe Detectives is a graduate of the Water Council’s BREW accelerator and a winner of the Wisconsin Innovation Awards. The company was founded in 2013 by Trevor Ghylin during his Ph.D. work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Applications in wastewater served as Dr. Ghylin’s original inspiration for founding Microbe Detectives. Other target applications include drinking water, process water, and recreational water. Eliminate the guesswork.