What is it about?

In a previous article (Perspectives of optical colourimetric sensors for anaerobic digestion), I discussed how colour-based dye sensors can be used to detect specific parameters during the production of biogas. Here, I have written a short article describing the method for determining the observable changes in the dye colours. This method allows the digitalisation of the dye colour changes so the user can qualify them. The data can then be computationally processed for interpretation.

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Why is it important?

This is important because it gives the user the required methodology to differentiate between various chemicals within the biogas production process, giving the operator a better understanding of the biological processes occurring within the reactor. Also, this is a much more affordable technique for the detection of different chemicals because it can measure many variables at once, it does not require large equipment and all the necessary parts can be purchased over the counter. This will improve the ability for operators of low-cost biogas plants to have better monitoring of their system to avoid biological process failure, all at a low cost.


I really like the idea of these sensors, and they can be applied to so many industries and sectors for detection of almost limitless amounts of variables. I would love to implement this technology for other applications in simple, low-cost kits that only require a smartphone to analyse the results.

Dr. Jacob J. Lamb
Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Digitalization of colourimetric sensor arrays for volatile fatty acid detection in anaerobic digestion, MethodsX, November 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2019.11.002.
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