Loughborough University in UK has developed a system of anaerobic digestion that can be monitored over the internet. The project is a collaboration with the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. One biogas plant has been installed at each campus, using cafeteria waste to produce biogas.
Information collected from the plants is sent to a joint web portal, providing researchers at both universities with easy access to the data. Real-time data analysis becomes much simpler. It becomes also easier to detect data trend deviations from the optimal range. Precautionary measures can then be taken to prevent any irreversible damage to the biogas plants.
The project addresses the issue of decentralised energy generation in remote locations. It provides a solution for remote monitoring on a community scale, which is much cheaper than the cost usually associated with process monitoring on an industrial scale. This solution has also other benefits, as it provides opportunities to reduce waste and stimulate nutrient recovery.
The project has received funding from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills UK, National Science and Technology Policy Office Thailand and the British Council Newton Fund.