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Laboratory Analysis

The Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) provides chemical and microbial analysis of organic materials used as feedstock for biodigesters to determine potential biogas production rates. Every step of the biodigestion process, from the acquisition of feedstocks to the analysis of digestate, can be examined in detail to find the most efficient method of biogas production.

ERIC’s staff uses this knowledge and experience to advance studies on the use of feedstock as an alternative biofuel for the public and private sector. Air quality testing offered by the ERIC is also available and a great compliment to these and other studies.

See the below list for analyses commonly requested at our facility. Please keep in mind that we can customize research specific to your needs.

Contact us today to find out how the ERIC can meet your testing needs.

Available Analyses

Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Five-Day

Biological oxygen demand (BOD) is a measure of the amount of oxygen used by microorganisms in the aerobic oxidation of organic matter.

Bulk Density

Bulk density testing will help determine the volumetric throughput of material. The digesters are loaded to a fixed volume capacity, but measured by weight.

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is a method of showing the oxidative potential of the feedstock, which directly correlates to theoretical methane yields. This value should be compared to the biogas tests described above to estimate non-degradable organics.

Determination of Organic Dry Matter

The total and volatile solids data are used to predict the inert or non-degradable ingredients such as water and minerals (ash) in the reactor.

Biomethane Potential (BMP): Eudiometers, AMPTS, and Pilot Testing

This batch method determines the total amount of biogas that can be predicted per mass unit of fresh material. The evaluation spans a 28-day period, resulting in a qualitative analysis of gas produced. The analysis reflects the methane concentration from which a biological engineer can calculate energy value.

Microbial Inhibition

Testing for inhibitive qualities within the feedstock shows whether or not a microbial growth-limiting substance is present. This could be toxic metal, chemical or antibiotic. Improper pH also can be inhibitive.

Nitrogen, Total Kjedahl

This total nitrogen test reveals the quantity of the macro-nutrient available. Nitrogen is the building block for peptides and amino acids. Combined with the total carbon analysis, this test can give a picture of the carbon to nitrogen ratio. If this ratio is too low in carbon, nitrogen in the form of ammonia can rise to toxic levels.

If the carbon is too high, the lack of nitrogen may be limiting the growth rate and require additional nitrogen supplements or co-substrates rich in N.

Total Organic Carbon (TOC) on Solids

Total organic carbon (TOC) can be used to determine C:N ratio of feedstock.

Miscellaneous Analyses

  • Carbon
  • Determination of Dry Matter
  • Determination of pH
  • Methane Analysis via Gas Chromatography (GC)
  • Nitrogen, Total as N on Solids
  • Percent Alkalinity
  • Phosphorus, Total Recoverable as P by ICP
  • Volatile Fatty Acids via Gas Chromatography (GC)

Elements Available for Analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP)

Aluminum (Al)Copper (Cu)Silver (Ag)
Arsenic (As)Iron (Fe)Sodium (Na)
Barium (Ba)Lead (Pb)Strontium (Sr)
Beryllium (Be)Lithium (Li)Tin (Sn)
Boron (B)Magnesium (Mg)Titanium (Ti)
Cadmium (Cd)Manganese (Mn)Vanadium (V)
Calcium (Ca) Molybdenum (Mo)Tungsten (W)
Chromium (Cr) Nickel (Ni)Zinc (Zn)
Cobalt (Co)Potassium (K)

Environmental Research and Innovation Center

(920) 424-3148

783 Pearl Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Samples Accepted
Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mailing Address
UW Oshkosh ERIC
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901