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Systematic error in manometric measurement of biochemical methane potential: Sources and solutions.

Waste management (New York, N.Y.) (2019-06-18)
Sasha D Hafner, Sergi Astals
ABSTRACT

This work focused on identification and quantification of systematic sources of error in manometric measurement of biochemical methane potential (BMP). Error was determined by comparison to gravimetric measurements and direct measurement of leakage. One out of three types of septa leaked above 1 bar (gauge) headspace pressure, losing 25 to 30% of biogas produced. But manometric BMP showed a negative bias even in the absence of leakage. Maximum error was 24% from 160 mL bottles with 40 mL of headspace (headspace fraction of 0.25). Error decreased with increasing headspace fraction, and was small (3%) for a headspace fraction of 0.75, showing that a high headspace volume is the best approach for minimizing error. Relative error in CH4 production measurement increased with headspace pressure as well, but controlling pressure alone is not sufficient for minimizing error. Calculations showed that observed error may be due to volatilization of CH4 during venting as well as inaccurate headspace volume determination, although these sources do not completely explain the magnitude of error observed. Measurement of biogas composition before and after venting showed that CO2 volatilization can occur, but is probably a minor source of error. Calculations showed that error in estimation of ambient pressure or headspace temperature had only minor effects (<3%). Gravimetric measurements, which were unaffected by leakage and insensitive to error in estimation of headspace pressure, temperature or volume, can provide a simple check on manometric results, or a complete replacement.

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Supelco
Stoppers, stopper diam. 20 mm, gray butyl rubber, pkg of 100 ea