DSM Biogas

Optimizing viscosity in your digester

Reduce operating costs & avoid floating layers

Improved viscosity

Biogas producers are limited in their use of feedstocks that contain a lot of fiber or mucilage (a thick, gluey substance produced by plants). These properties increase viscosity in the digester. This makes stirring and pumping more difficult and energy-consuming. Using high amounts of such substrates may result in floating layers, crusts, and equipment failure and breakdown. 

How to avoid viscosity problems, including floating layers?

Viscosity can be reduced by increased stirring or by adding water. But these are suboptimal solutions, because they increase costs (of energy and maintenance) and reduce the effective working volume of the plant.

Enzymes break down long-chain molecules in these substrates (which are the cause of viscosity). They convert these molecules into sugars and acids, which then easily turn into biogas. So enzymes help you to avoid problems in your process and improve efficiency in a natural way. This enables you to use more challenging feedstocks without running into trouble.

Viscosity benefits of biogas enzymes

  • Avoid floating layers
  • Remove floating layers (when occurred)
  • Lower energy use for stirrers and pumps
  • Less wear on moving parts
  • Less need to add water (which reduces the working volume of the digester)

Viscosity improvement case studies

We have demonstrated viscosity improvements in numerous full-scale digesters and with a variety of feedstocks. Such improvements range from reduced energy needs in plants with no apparent viscosity problems to dissolving thick floating layers. For several plants, we have documented the results of using our enzymes in case studies. 

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