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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops and their Co-Products

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Development of a low flow meter for measuring gas production in bioreactors

Authors
item Clark, Iian -
item Zhang, Ruihong -
item PAN, ZHONGLI
item Brown, Benny -
item Ambuel, Jack -
item Delwiche, Michael -

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2011
Publication Date: November 28, 2011
Citation: Clark, I., Zhang, R., Pan, Z., Brown, B., Ambuel, J., Delwiche, M. 2011. Development of a low flow meter for measuring gas production in bioreactors. Transactions of the ASABE. 54(5): 1959-1964.

Interpretive Summary: Low gas flow rate meters are currently not available and are needed for biological processes. This research developed an accurate gas flow meter system that can meet the needs. The system consists of an embedded controller and three gas meters. The controller has keypad and LCD that allow users to easily set up the control parameters and operate the system. The data of gas follow are recorded and stored in the controller and can be transferred to computers for reporting purposes. The gas flow meters and system can be used to collect accurate and high resolution gas flow data form laboratory bioreactors.

Technical Abstract: Accurate measurement of gas production from biological processes is important in many laboratory experiments. A gas flow rate measurement system, consisting of an embedded controller operating three gas meters, was developed to measure volumetric flows between 0 and 8 ml min-1 (1 atm, 273.15 K). The gas meter system builds on earlier pressure-based designs by adding a reference chamber to avoid errors associated with atmospheric pressure fluctuations. The controller has a keypad and LCD that guides users through operation, logs data, and can be connected to a computer for data retrieval using a custom graphical user interface. Each of the three gas meters was calibrated using a bubble meter as the standard. The error in gas flow rate measured by the calibrated gas meter is expected to within 0.165 ml min-1, 95% of the time. The gas metering system was used to measure the biogas production from batch anaerobic reactors that were operated for biohydrogen production, using non-fat milk as the substrate. The results show that the gas meter can be used to collect accurate and high resolution gas flow data from laboratory bioreactors.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014