Biochemical methane potential (BMP)

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Anaerobic batch fermentation assay for the evaluation of biogas and biomethane yield 

The biomethane potential or biochemical methane potential (BMP) of a specific substrate defines the maximum amount of methane that can be produced by anaerobic digestion. The definition refers to the existing state of the sample as it is analyzed or applied in fermentation processes. The BMP is a key parameter for substrate characterization and efficiency evaluation of anaerobic digestion plants. It is crucial for assessing quality and monetary value of different substrate types and enables reliable process balancing.

BMP is typically measured in anaerobic batch tests in a laboratory setup (BMP test). The fundamental principle of a BMP test is straight forward: A sample of the investigated substrate is digested with an active and well-functioning inoculum in bottles incubated at an appropriate temperature. Additionally, blank samples, only containing inoculum, are incubated as well. Assuming no synergistic/antagonistic effects, the resulting methane production of the substrate can be determined by subtracting methane production of the blank (inoculum) from the substrate sample (substrate + inoculum). The final value of cumulative methane production after test termination is defined as the experimental BMP of the substrate.

AMPTS® III and AMPTS® III Light are well-recognised and the recommended laboratory platforms according to the German norm VDI 4630 and several international laboratory protocols for conducting biochemical methane potential or biomethane potential (BMP), specific methanogenic activity (SMA), residual gas potential (RGP) and biohydrogen potential analyses.  

Basic principle of biomethane potential (BMP) tests (according to project “Standard BMP Methods” presented by DBFZ)

How to perform BMP with AMPTS III ?

Watch the video prepared by TU Delft on how to perform biochemical methane potential (BMP) tests with AMPTS to assess the activity of a digestate from a wastewater treatment plant.


– the most reliable instrument for BMP, SMA, RGP and biogas potential assays

Automatic Methane Potential Test System (AMPTS) III is the research-standard analytical tool preferred by scientists and engineers for conducting various anaerobic batch fermentation tests. It consists of 18 parallel reactors and the same number of gas flow meters (flow cells) attached to a detection unit for online, automatic data acquisition.  This allows for the real-time investigation of a high number of feedstock samples with high precision and accuracy. The unique design makes the AMPTS III an extremely precise and accurate instrument in a wide range of applications.

Photograph of AMPTS III for BMP anerobic testing
Photograph of AMPTS III LIght


– simplify the selection & pricing of substrates

AMPTS III Light is the sister product of the AMPTS III. It is the instrument of choice for process engineers and plant operators when selecting and pricing substrates in biogas plants. The instrument is used for analysing, with up to 9 test vials, biochemical methane potential (BMP), residual gas potential (RGP) as well as anaerobic biodegradability and specific methanogenic activity (SMA) assays. All of this is performed with easy access to sampling, analysis, recording and report generation fully integrated and automated.


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