Anaerobic digestion monitoring  - application of flow-through sensor array

Patrycja Ciosek 1Agnieszka Buczkowska 1Emilia Witkowska 1Anna Zamojska 2Krzysztof W. Szewczyk 2Wojciech Wróblewski 1

1. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Noakowskiego, Warsaw 00-664, Poland
2. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Warynskiego 1, Warsaw 00-645, Poland

Electronic tongues (ETs) based on potentiometric sensor arrays are often used for fast, inexpensive and reliable foodstuff classification, origin recognition, estimation of complex samples’ properties, etc.  In the last few years they were also applied for various fermentation monitoring (eg. Aspergillus niger fermentation, batch Escherichia coli fermentation, etc.), as a devices capable of automated and on-line control of the process . In this work a novel application for ET is proposed – miniaturized flow-through sensor array was used for classification of samples obtained during anaerobic digestion of whey in bioreactor working in periodic conditions.

Potentiometric sensor array composed of ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) was applied to estimate fermentation stage and stability of the anaerobic digestion process. Flow through cell was constructed on the basis of single modules to be connected with each other, in which miniaturized ISEs were mounted. The array was composed with the use of sensor sensitive towards acetate anions, lipophilic anions, lipophilic cations, amines, and some simple ions (H+, NH4+, Na+). Samples were gathered from three batches of fermentation running for seven days.

The objective was to determine Volatile Fatty Acid (VFA) level and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of samples by means of sensor array outputs processed by Partial Least Squares Analysis (PLS). The results of COD determination are presented in Figure 1. It was found, that the predicted values of both VFA level and COD were in good accordance to the real ones.

The preliminary results show, that potentiometric ET can be applied to anaerobic digestion monitoring, and detailed studies will be a subject of our future work.    


Figure 1. Results of COD determination


 1.  P. Ciosek, W. Wróblewski, Analyst, 132 (2007) 963

  2. A. Rudnitskaya, A. Legin, J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 35 (2008) 443


This work has been supported by the European Union in the framework of European Social Fund through the Warsaw University of Technology Development Programme and by Project MNS-DIAG Nr POIG.01.03.01-00-014/08-00


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Presentation: Poster at SMCBS'2009 International Workshop, by Patrycja Ciosek
See On-line Journal of SMCBS'2009 International Workshop

Submitted: 2009-08-07 13:54
Revised:   2009-08-07 14:11