I. Simeonov, E. Chorukova, V. Akivanov, W. Lakow, S. Mihaylova. Experimental Pilot Biogas Plant with Computer Monitoring and Control System

Key Words: Anaerobic degradation; biogas; pilot bioreactor; software sensors; LabVIEW; Beckhoff controller; system for monitoring and control.  

Abstract. In this paper the pilot biogas plant of the Stephan Angeloff Institute of microbiology, BAS is presented. This pilot biogas plant includes computer system for monitoring and control and was designed for development and scale-up of different biotechnologies for anaerobic degradation of organic wastes. Two options of the computer system are developed – research option based on PC and LabVIEW and industrial option based on PLC controller of Beckhoff. Data from sensors is stored and visualized on PC and is used for calculation of unmeasured technological parameters (via software sensors) and for optimal values of control algorithms parameters determination. The developed monitoring system includes software sensors for calculation of specific growth rates of two microbial populations and their biomass concentrations. Bang-bang algorithms are tested for bioreactor temperature regulation (with the controller of Beckhoff) and regulation of the biogas flow-rate (both with LabVIEW and the controller of Beckhoff). The obtained results are acceptable for the temperature regulation and poor for the regulation of the biogas flow-rate.